19th December 2020

Saturday, Third Week of Advent;

Jdg 13:2-7,24-25;   Ps 71:3-6,16-17;   Lk 1:5-25


In today’s readings, we see two unexpected events taking place in the lives of Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, and Samson’s mother. Both were barren, and longed to nurse a child of their own. Furthermore, since barrenness was a supposed sign of God’s curse or displeasure, they were being ridiculed and looked down upon. But God changes their lives, making them mothers of two important persons in salvation history: Samson the Judge, and John the Baptist, the precursor to the Messiah. Suddenly, the years of hurt and suffering give way to abundant joy and happiness. God remembered and answered their prayers. But he did so in his own time, and not on their terms.

We are invited today, to be steadfast in hope even in the most difficult situations, while trusting “God that you are exactly where you are meant to be” (St Therese of the Child Jesus). And without doubt, God will lift all the doom and gloom from our lives, in his time. Further, the gospel tells us that when Archangel Gabriel visits both Zachariah and Mary with God’s message, they respond in a similar fashion. However, Zachariah’s question, based on human reasoning that he and his wife are too old to be parents, flows from doubt. He forgot that for God, all things are possible.

Mary’s question, on the other hand, flows from faith. Being fully aware of the fate that befell unmarried mothers, namely, death by stoning, she asks “how can this be?” not to find out how she was going to be protected, but to know what God wanted from her. To be made the mother of his son, was a gift beyond compare; she wanted to know what she could do on her part to be faithful. That response was completed in her final surrender: “I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” Let us thus embrace holiness, which consists “simply in doing God’s will, and being just what God wants us to be.” (St Therese of the Child Jesus)

Responsorial Psalm: My mouth is filled with your praise, and I will sing your glory!

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