Tuesday, December 23 ~ Fourth Week in the Season of Advent
Saint John of Kanty, Priest
Holy Gospel: Luke 1:57-66 When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be? For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”
Meditation: Are you surprised to see the relatives of Zechariah and Elizabeth quibble over what to name their newborn child? Don’t we do the same thing? This child, however has been named from above! And Elizabeth is firm in her faith and determined to see that God be glorified through this child. The name John means “the Lord is gracious.” In the birth of John and in the birth of Jesus the Messiah we see the grace of God breaking forth into a world broken by sin and death and without hope. John’s miraculous birth shows the mercy and favor of God in preparing his people for the coming of its Lord and Savior, the Christ.
Prayer: Grant, we pray, almighty God, that by the example of the Priest Saint John of Kanty we may advance in knowledge of holy things and by showing compassion to all, may gain forgiveness in your sight. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Contemplation: When God acts to save us he graciously fills us with his Holy Spirit and makes our faith “alive” to his promises. Do you make your life an offering to God, along with your family, and all that you possess? God wants to fill us with his glory all the days of our lives, from birth through death. Renew the offering of your life to God and give him thanks for his mercy and favor towards you?