Thursday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Malachi 3:1-4, 23-24, Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14, & Luke 1:57-66
And he asked for a writing tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And they all wondered.
The naming of a child can often be a source of vast consideration and some tension in a family. Different people will offer ideas about a good name for the child. Of course, it is ultimately the choice of the parents. In the Gospel narrative for today, we heard that the relatives and neighbors expected Zechariah and Elizabeth to follow convention by calling their newborn child Zechariah after his father. However, Zechariah and Elizabeth knew God wanted the child to have another name.
At this moment in history, God was not following the convention but something new. Zechariah and Elizabeth's child would be different from other children. The relatives and neighbors were right to ask, "What, then, will this child be?" This child was
called to prepare people for the coming of someone who would be far greater than himself—someone whose name would be Emmanuel, God-with-us. God was working in a new way and creating a new covenant with humanity. This extraordinary moment in God's generosity to humankind is at the center of why we celebrate Christmas, and it should never cease to fill us with excitement, gratitude, and joy.
Question of the Day: Do you proclaim Jesus, as John did, as the Savior of the world?
Prayer: "A child shall be born for us, and He will be called God, the Almighty; every tribe of the earth shall be blest in Him." (Isaiah 9-5, Psalm 72)