Today’s Gospel: Luke 1: 5 – 25
I remember the frustration I felt as a kid the first time I saw, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” Clarence the angel arranges to show George Bailey what it would be like if he had never been born. I was frustrated because for most of the movie George wasn’t listening. A rare grace had been bestowed upon him, but his lack of faith prevented him from benefiting from it. Clarence had provided more that enough evidence for any reasonable person. George wasn’t getting what the angel had revealed to him and was therefore unable to appreciate the graces that God had bestowed upon him.
Today’s reading has a similar theme. Zechariah, a priest, is chosen to burn incense the sanctuary of the Holy Temple. This occurred while his division was serving at the temple. This would have been the opportunity of a lifetime.
While in the sanctuary, an angel appears to him. When told that his wife, Elizabeth, will bear a son, rather than kneel in thanks and praise, he doubts. “How shall I know this?” Zechariah asks the angel “ For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
Big mistake. The same one George Bailey made. They both forgot divinity 101: with God all things are possible.
As a punishment, Zechariah is struck mute. He came out from the sanctuary unable to speak, and it was obvious to the congregation that he had had a divine vision. The consequences of his doubt provided proof to others.
As you may recall, months later, Zechariah regained his speech. But that’s a reflection for another day.
How often do you ignore or dismiss the handiwork of God in your life?
Lord, grant us the courage to face your messengers when they arrive and the faith to recognize your graces when they are bestowed upon us.
Copyright 2014 Kirk Whitney