Luke 1: 67-79
I believe in your loving presence with me, Lord, and I tremble as I consider the
immense love you have for me. I do not deserve your grace, and yet I cannot live without it. You
have called me to rise above my sin and misery and to live in your love as one of your children. I
truly want to show you my love.
Lord, help me to seek you and
find you through silence.
1. Silence for Reflection:
Zechariah had been in
silence (a silence imposed by God) for over nine months. Perhaps at the beginning, he had felt
frustrated at not being able to communicate normally with others. As time goes on, that frustration
turns into resignation and reluctant acceptance. Through perseverance and prayer, suddenly he begins
to love the trial God had imposed on him, embracing it wholeheartedly and willingly. When we see
someone who is suffering, be it in a hospital, a nursing home or even on the street or at work, we
need to bring them this message of hope. Suffering has a meaning, a redemptive value, if we unite
our sufferings to those of Christ.
2. Silence for Union with Our Lord:
We see that
Zechariah’s 9-month “retreat” has provided him the opportunity for a closer contact with God.
Through prayer he has been brought to a deeper and experiential knowledge of God, which has
converted him into an apostle in his desire to share this experience with others. As his wife’s
period of waiting results in her giving birth to a prophet, so Zechariah’s “incubation” period also
turns him into a prophet: He foretells that salvation for his people is near at hand. We will have
words of wisdom and encouragement for others when we have discovered how to be alone with God in the
secret depths of our hearts. Silence is a vehicle for achieving this intimacy.
At some moment during his tribulation, Zechariah would recall the angel’s words,
“you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place” (Luke 1:20). Hope
would invade his heart. The day is coming when he would be able to speak again! He has nine months
to prepare his speech. The first words he utters as his tongue is loosened are not a curse against
God for having made him suffer, but a hymn of praise for his mercy on a sinful humanity. He has
experienced this mercy in his own flesh. We are meant to communicate truth through speech, and the
greatest truth is what God has done for each of us and wishes to do for every single person. When
our speech is a result of what we have first meditated on profoundly, our words will bear fruit.
Does my speech normally edify others? Do my words ordinarily come from the good I have
experienced in God’s company? Am I aware of how much we can build up others through good
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, your birth comes tonight. I
want to have a proper place
prepared for you. Please help me to make it warm and comfortable
for you. Make up for what is lacking in my poor efforts to please
you. O King of Glory, may
my every thought, word and deed of
this day be a fitting homage for your
Today, I will strive to edify others through my