The Gospel Today
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying:
“Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel;
for he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty Savior,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his prophets he promised of old
that he would save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hand of our enemies,
free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
to give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Reflection (Sem. Alfredo Dimaano):
I grew up listening to the FM radio and I brought this even when I was working. A day would not be complete without listening to my favorite radio station. Songs are not merely sounds to the ear but also a way of relating life’s experiences. There are songs of joy, pain, and hope.
Today’s Gospel relates to us a song of someone who has received so much compassion from God: the Canticle of Zechariah. Filled with the Holy Spirit, these were the first words that he spoke of when he was able to speak again. Such magnificent utterance of thankfulness, for truly, Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s promise to His people, born out of His infinite mercy. Out of the abundance of his heart, Zechariah could not contain his singing of praise to our God. Longing for the Messiah, the news of the upcoming birth of Jesus and role to be assumed by his son John as the “prophet of the Most High” brought him joy beyond compare.
In the world that we are in, the lures of modernity distract us from grasping the message of Christmas. Some of us might be consumed by last minute shopping and wrapping of gifts. The noise that surrounds us might divert our attention to the true “reason for this season”.
Hours from now, we will celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. Let our thankfulness to Him be our heart’s canticle to the Lord for sending us His dearly beloved Son. May our daily praises be our constant greeting to the Father for gifting us with salvation and redemption through the birth of Jesus. When I think about it, no one has really ever walked on earth that has touched, transformed, and affected our lives than Jesus, our Christ. He came and things were never the same again.
What is your song? What is your canticle? May it be an expression of our gratitude! I believe, only a heart that allows Jesus to dwell in it can be truly grateful to sing praises to the Lord.