HOMILY FOR 23RD DECEMBER, 4TH WEEK OF ADVENT. (2)

Zechariah









HOMILY FOR 23RD DECEMBER, 4TH WEEK OF ADVENT.

THEME: THE LORD IS GRACIOUS.

BY: Fr. Karabari Paul.

 

‘And immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue loosed, and he spoke, blessing God.’

The Gospel (Luke 1:57-66) talks about the bundle of joy that follows the birth of John the Baptist and the healing of Zechariah, the child’s father.

The arrival of a new baby has been a source of joy throughout the ages. Babies are God’s way of saying the world should go on. Each new child reflects a facet of the infinite beauty and mystery of God. By teaching us patience and selflessness, the little ones help us grow in holiness. In their simplicity, they show us to remain pure. Their neediness can, and should, soften our hearts. They don’t even have to be our children; we can feel an obligation to help all kids since their lives enrich all of us. Their innocence is a reflection of the saints we can see on earth.

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For the ancient Jews a name captured, even defined, a person’s identity. So for Elizabeth to name her son “John” was significant. In Hebrew, the name means “The Lord is gracious.” It showed her recognition of God’s great plan for the child. John was in the Almighty’s special care from the start. Even today, every child is loved by God and has a destiny in the heavenly Father’s plan. Every child is valuable no matter what the parents think. The best gift to offer children is to make them realise their place in God.

Zechariah had doubted God and was struck mute. He regains his speech only after publicly accepting God’s plan and allowing his newborn son to take the name John. We, too, might have a bit of Zechariah in us. We resist God, only to hit a dead end. Bad friendships, habits of serious sin, and rising despair, all resist God’s purpose for us. Yet, repentance is slow to come. Why? “We think that evil is basically good,” said Pope-Emeritus Benedict XVI. The Lord’s graciousness hasn’t ceased. We are all beneficiaries. GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE. May God have mercy on us, bless and protect us, and heal our world through Christ Our Lord Amen. Good morning.

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