Join us as we reflect, ponder, and pray together inspired by today's Gospel.
Today's Gospel: Luke 1:5-25
Saint Gabriel announces to Zechariah that his wife, although barren and “advanced in years” will conceive a son miraculously. Until I read closely, I had thought that Gabriel had said something simple like “your wife will bear a son!” But no--the illustrious Saint Gabriel gives Zechariah many details about this son: that he will “be great in the sight of the Lord” and “will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother’s womb.” He “will turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord their God” and will go “in the spirit and power of Elijah.”
What does Zechariah say in response? To paraphrase: “Where’s the proof? I’m old and my wife is old.”
Zechariah, although “righteous in the eyes of God,” seems to have lost hope regarding this particular grief in his life. He seems not just reconciled to not having a child but to actually cling fiercely to this pain. It is a wound so deep that the grief is not easily wrested from him.
Now, we (or at least I) can’t be too hard on the man. If most of us were to be honest, there are parts of our lives where we have given up hope. Perhaps it’s a grown child who is dogged in his renunciation of the faith. Perhaps it’s a rocky marriage where nothing you’ve tried has helped. There are situations in our lives that seem so contrary to a good end that is a real temptation to give up hope and instead cling to our pain.
Let’s instead cling to God. Let us look to Mary as our model. When she was asked about being the mother of Our Lord, she also responded with a question, but her question was asked in a spirit of collaboration: “How shall this be accomplished?” Let’s echo Mary’s question and listen hard. God may be asking you to offer up daily Mass for your intention; He may be asking for you to fast regularly for your intention; He may be asking for a daily Rosary for your intention.
Where in your own life are you clinging to pain rather than to God?
Lord God, I am sorry for giving up hope of healing or conversion in [this area of my life]. I desire to participate in this work of redemption by Your grace; only show me what You would have me do and give me the grace to do it.
Copyright 2020 Amanda Woodiel
About the Author
Amanda Woodiel is a Catholic convert, a mother to five children ages 11 to 3, a slipshod housekeeper, an enamored wife, and a “good enough” homeschooler who believes that the circumstances of her life -- both good and bad -- are pregnant with grace. She leads a moms' group at her parish that focuses on simple and meaningful ways to live the liturgical year at home. Amanda blogs at In a Place of Grace.