Reading: Gospel according to St. Luke 1:59-80
Dear and Respected Brethren,
We find in the Holy Scriptures that the neighbors and relatives had shared
the thrill and happiness of Priest Zachariah and St. Elizabeth, when God
blessed them with a son, when they both were pretty old to get a child in
accordance with the human understanding. The ones who came to know the
incidents that took place in the house of Priest Zachariah, following the
birth of the infant, got much surprised. The details of the events were
spread all over Judea within a small span of time.
We all know that Priest Zachariah was not talking for a very long time. And
when his tongue was loosened, he praised God. (Vs-64) He did not run to take
his child or enjoy over the incident. He praised God as he was filled with
the spirit of God. Until we submit ourselves to God and get filled with His
power, we cannot praise God as God longs from us. In verse 65 we read �And
fear came on all that dwelt round about them�. What is this fear? Were they
afraid of the unusual incidents? Let us understand it as the wisdom as
translated by King Solomon the wise. He only taught us that the fear of the
Lord is the beginning of wisdom. (Proverbs 1:6) What knowledge they might
have achieved? It must be the strong faith that nothing is impossible to
God. This wisdom got strong in their minds and hence they laid them up in
their hearts. In St. Luke 2:19 we find St. Mary as laying all things that
she witnessed and believed in her heart. And also it is mentioned that she
used to meditate on those things as and when she had free time.
In verse 66 confirms that the hand of the Lord was with the infant St. John
the Baptist. In Acts of the Apostles 11:21 we read that the hand of the Lord
was with the Apostles. We could watch that the hand of God enabled the
child�s growth in spirit. Likewise we must long for the growth of our
younger ones in the spirit of God. We could watch the happy sight of Priest
Zachariah�s prophecy, when and where he was filled with the Holy Spirit. In
verse 70 we read, �As he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have
been since the world began...� What were these prophecies? They were the
prophecies of the arrival of our Savior. In Jeremiah 23:5 we find the
prophecy of the arrival of the savior. In Jeremiah 30:10, we find the
prophecy of salvation. In Daniel 9:24 we find the prophecy of promise of the
forgiveness of sins. Kindly read Acts 3:21 and Romans 1:1-2.
In Verse 72 we read, �To perform mercy promised to our fathers, and to
remember his holy covenant�. What is it? In Leviticus 26:42 we find the
covenant with Jacob. We know our Lord God was kind with all our fathers of
the past with or without the covenant. Priest Zachariah reminds us �the oath
which he swore to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us that we
being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear
in holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. (Verses
72-75) Kindly refer Genesis 12:3, Hebrews 6:13, Romans 6:18, Hebrews 9:14.
Priest Zachariah Prophases �And thou, child, shall be called prophet of the
Highest�. Prophet Isaiah introduces St. John the Baptist as the �voice of
that cries in the wilderness�. (Isaiah 40:3) When new born babies would
arrive our houses as well as houses of our relatives, what we are doing
immediately. Are we not sending someone after the so called ones who claim
to make prophecy to ascertain the future of the child? How many of us do
care to identify the will of God regarding the child, for whom God alone has
given the life? How many of us do find time to praise God on the birth of a
new born in our midst. (There is canonical prayer for the occasion in the
Holy Church) Let us meditate on verses 78 and 79. �Through the tender mercy
of our God, whereby the dayspring from high has visited us to give light to
them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into
the way of peace�. Let us understand what a prophecy it is? By that time our
Lord Jesus was in the womb of his beloved mother. Priest Zachariah is
prophesying about our Lord Jesus. He is the light of high. He is the day
spring from high which came to give us light. He only incarnated to guide us
to peace. He is the real peace and real love. We know all these facts, still
are we not in darkness? Are we perfect sons and daughters of the real light?
Let us pray as we recite in the morning prayers �Lord, who remains in light,
and who is light, make us worthy of the light that which cannot be attacked
by the darkness�.
May God bless us all.
Jose Kurian Puliyeril.