Pondering for Tuesday, December 20, 2022

Daily Office Readings for Tuesday of the 4th Week of Advent: Year 1

Morning, Psalm 66 and 67; Evening, Psalm 116 and 117;
Isaiah 11:10 to 16Revelation 20:11 to 21:8Luke 1:5 to 25

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: 19 and 20)

The angel Gabriel lost his patience with Zechariah because he doubted.  So he made Zechariah mute until an appointed time. I’m guessing that was okay with God since angels have the blessing and authority from God. It seems angels and other beings from the court of heaven have some latitude as far as we mortals are concerned. We’d best be careful. But being mute may not be such a bad thing.

When I am silent, my mind opens.  I am then able to realize more about what is going on in the world, and with me personally, than when I am running my mouth. It seems that God engineered our faces such that when we close our mouths, our ears open.

Meditative prayer is so important. Many of the saints that I have studied, like St. John of the Cross and Evelyn Underhill for example, were muted with imprisonment or sickness (respectively), when they created their greatest works of writing.

So how about you and me volunteering to be muted in order that we too might receive divine inspiration? About angels; they never come or go.  They are revealed and then they are hidden. But they are always with us, even if not seen, and even while with us, they stand in the presence of God.  And having divine authority from on high, they watch us closely. Perhaps it is from them, angels like Gabriel, that we too receive our revelations from God. But let us not be forced into quietness.  Rather, let us make a few moments of quiet resolve a part of our natural daily rhythm. Zechariah was probably angry when muted. But let’s look at what Zechariah gleaned from his quiet time.

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Iran and China.

As we listen to what the Spirit is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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