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Devotional thoughts for the Sunday of St. John the Baptist's birth - 4th Dec 05

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  • Jose Kurian Puliyeril.
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 2 3:22 AM
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      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.
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