HOMILY FOR 23RD DECEMBER, 4TH WEEK OF ADVENT.
THEME: His name will be John, but what will this child turn out to be?
BY: Fr. Diotacious Chikontwe SMA
*READINGS OF THE DAY*
The naming of a child can often be a source of tension in a family. Different people will have different ideas about a good name for the child. At the end of the day, of course, it is the choice of the parents.
*FROM THE GOSPEL OF THE DAY*
In today’s gospel reading relatives and neighbours expected Zechariah and Elizabeth to follow convention by calling their new-born child Zechariah, after his father. However, Zechariah and Elizabeth knew that this was not the name that God wanted the child to have. At this particular moment in history, God was not following convention, but was about to do something new. Zechariah and Elizabeth’s child would be different to other children. The relatives and neighbours were right to ask the question, ‘What will this child turn out to be?’ He would turn out to be the man who would prepare people for the coming of someone much greater than himself, someone whose name would be Jesus, Emmanuel, God-with-us.
At this moment of history God was indeed working in a new way; God was in the process of making a new covenant with all of humanity.
It is this new and wonderful moment in God’s dealings with humanity that we celebrate at Christmas, and it should never cease to fill us with excitement and gratitude. It is said in the gospel reading that the people treasured the circumstances of John’s birth in their hearts. We have something even more wonderful to treasure in our hearts as we come to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Good morning dear friends in Christ.
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