Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Last Week of Advent - December 23rd

John the Baptist is born, and when Zechariah writes the words the angel instructed, "His name is John" his tongue is freed, and he begins to praise God.  This is the gospel for today.  Everything about this gospel points to the fact that God works outside of the natural order of things, even the fact that the other relatives protest. Elizabeth says the child is to be named John, but there is no one else in the family with that name.  The child's name, like the child's birth, is given by God.  We are part of a world of nature, we function within that world, and so often we are trapped by that world, when we encounter problems and difficulties we seek natural solutions rather than turn to God in prayer.  The person of faith should never have any reason to be discouraged, because that person knows that even though things might be impossible in the natural order, God does not work that way, God's ways are not ours, and God sees the bigger picture.  The person of prayer knows there is never any reason to be discouraged because through constant prayer we begin to see God's hand at work in our midst, outside the natural order of things.  When we are faithful to prayer, it's like turning a tapestry around and seeing how all the threads are woven and joined together, even though we may only see a few threads at a time.  Pray always!

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