Zechariah prophesizes of the greatness of John the Baptist and the salvation of Jesus Christ. Every Catholic man can grow in happiness by seeking the Gift of Knowledge from the Holy Spirit so he can turn away from the darkness of sin and vice and by seeking the Fruits of Peace and Joy from the Holy Spirit so he can offer the peace and joy of Jesus to others.
4th Week of Advent – December 24 – Morning – Lk 1:67-79
Following his miraculous encounter with the Archangel Gabriel in the Temple, the priest Zechariah, because of doubt, is struck mute for nine months until the birth and naming of his son, John the Baptist; Zechariah fulfills his sacred duty as the male head of his house to ensure the circumcision of John the Baptist on the eighth day. After confirming that the name of His son with be John, as instructed by the Archangel Gabriel, Zechariah’s voice is immediately and miraculously restored, and he is filled with the Holy Spirit, and moved to prophesize.
Zechariah’s prophecy, called the Canticle (song) of Zechariah and The Benedictus (Latin for “blessed”), is a beautiful, poetic and truthful exclamation of the Salvation of Christ. Beginning with praise to God, similar to Our Lady’s Magnificat, Zechariah gives thanks to God for: His willingness to be present to Israel; His redemption of Israel from the enemies who hate and attack her; His gift of keeping His promises to Israel; His fulfillment of prophecy given to Abraham, and that David’s line would be the source of salvation; His gift that Israel can serve God in righteousness and without fear.
Zechariah then turns to prophecy about John the Baptist, and the coming salvation in Jesus Christ the Divine Savior. Jesus causes Zechariah to predict: John the Baptist will be Christ’s prophet (prophet of the Most High) to prepare His way; Jesus will teach (give light) His people about the forgiveness of sins and guide them to His salvation and peace. All of Zechariah’s prophecies come to pass in Christ Jesus.
Be awed by Jesus Christ
Marvel at how Jesus, Person of the Trinity, reveals Himself through Zechariah: Divine Knowledge and Power, He creates, forms, and makes and keeps promises, protecting His people Israel over the centuries; Divine Power, He creates Zechariah and Elizabeth, holy people of Israel, withholding the gift of children until the miraculous birth of John the Baptist; Divine Prophet, He inspires Zechariah with poetic prophecy which comes true, and inspires and sustains John the Baptist throughout his entire life to fulfill the mission to announce Him; Divine Mercy, Jesus keeps His promise to be merciful through His life, His sacrificial Crucifixion and Resurrection for the salvation of all men of goodwill, who are willing to believe in Him and repent from sin.
Turn away from the darkness of vice
Realize: Sadly, Zechariah’s call for men to turn away from darkness is ignored, as the modern world plunges deeper and deeper into all kinds of evil, evil that rejects God by seeking to legitimize perverse acts, darkening the minds of men, and leading millions into mortal sins which will result in eternal damnation.
Believe: Reflect upon the need to Turn Away from Darkness (CCC 1866, 457, 588, 1691, 1707).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Gift of Knowledge so You show me the darkness of hidden vice in my life, I have deep contrition, and I am moved to joyfully receive the life-saving Sacrament of Penance.
Spread the peace and joy of Jesus
Realize: As in the time of Zechariah, the world is marred with anger and violence as men fight for power, control, and to assert their perverted ideologies which oppose the will of God.
Believe: Reflect upon the Prince of Peace (CCC 260, 2302-2306).
Pray: Holy Spirit, give me the Fruits of Peace and Joy so any traces of anger and bitterness are removed from my soul, and I am moved by the Prince of Peace to become a great source of peace and happiness to my family and all whom I meet today.