Daily Office Readings for the 4th Week of Advent: Year 2
“He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.’” (Luke 1:16 – 17)
(Edited an republished from December 23, 2019)
In this passage the angel Gabriel is speaking with Zechariah about things that will happen and how all this will be good news. He is telling him about a son that he will have through Elizabeth his wife and that he is to name the child John.
Gabriel tells Elijah that this child will turn the hearts of parents to their children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This is amazing. These are Israelites. They are raised in the Holy Scriptures of the Lord our God from birth. Yet, this John the Baptist is going to have them love their children again, as they always should have. And he is going to shine a light on the ignorance of disobedience. This adds clearer meaning to making crooked paths straight and leveling hills and valleys.
But Zechariah questions Gabriel and as a result Gabriel makes Zechariah mute until the child is born. “Zechariah said to the angel, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.’ The angel replied, ‘I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.’” (Luke 1: 18 – 20)
We know that Zechariah’s son, John the Baptist, becomes the herald or announcer of the coming of our Lord Jesus. John was a hard man who did not bend to the selfish desires of others, be they the Pharisee (Brood of vipers) or Herod the puppet king who married his brother’s wife. John told it like it was. Yes, he lost his head but he saved his soul. We can’t lose anything that God can’t put back together and even make it better than it was before. We too need to get back to loving family and seeking righteousness as we await the coming of our Lord.
As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love, to serve, and to teach, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John