Announcement to Zechariah

Gospel Reading

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Well we have started on our Christmas decorations and burning the first of our Maronite advent candles.

Here is a short reflection from Sr Margaret Ghosn.

Lk 1:1-25 Announcement to Zechariah

“So we commence our journey to Christmas in our Maronite Lectionary. Over the next few Sundays the Gospel passages will detail the events leading up to the birth of Jesus. Today our focus turns to the Announcement to Zechariah. This story is told just before the announcement to Mary. Yet Zechariah’s response is very different to Mary’s and to Elizabeth. Let’s take a closer look.

Zechariah belonged to a priestly order and was chosen ‘to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer incense’ (v9). So we are in the Temple, the dwelling place of Yahweh, and we have a ‘holy man’ at prayer.

When Zechariah sees the angel ‘he was terrified; and fear overwhelmed him’ (v12). Zechariah was not prepared for God’s glory and was unable to be at peace, even though the angel reassures him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zechariah’ (v13). The angel tells Zechariah the good news that he will become a father, but Zechariah remains incredulous, stating, ‘How will I know that this is so? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years’ (v18). As a result of his disbelief he is struck mute, but God’s words will come to be..

Elizabeth’s response is in contrast to Zechariah, who rather than doubt and fear, chose instead to accept and rejoice saying, ‘This is what the Lord has done for me when he looked favourably on me and took away the disgrace I have endured among my people’ (v25).

Elizabeth was open and receptive to God’s unexpected plans. We will see next week how Mary’s response also contrasts with Zechariah. For now we pray to be accepting and welcoming of the turn of events that God brings to our lives. Amen”

Go back to Glorious Season of the Birth of Our Lord