Monday – Zechariah
Zechariah must have been scared half to death when the angel Gabriel appeared to him in the Temple. A heavenly message was probably the last thing he expected, and it's rather amazing that he didn't fall over on the spot from the shock of it. Compound that with the content of the message (A son??? Really???), and Zechariah likely felt that the whole world was falling in upon him.
We can't entirely blame him for his response to Gabriel, then. “How shall I know this?” he demanded of the angel. He just couldn't quite grasp the magnitude of the situation, but his question was still a blunder on his part. Zechariah was focused on himself. How shall I know this? He was taking the wrong perspective by trying to measure God by his own human knowledge and understanding. He didn't open his heart in faith; rather, he doubted that such a miraculous thing could happen to him. Essentially, he was asking for a sign rather than trusting that God had a plan.
Gabriel did indeed give Zechariah a sign, but it wasn't one Zechariah wanted. The priest lost his ability to speak until the day his son was born. He had learned his lesson of faith and trust the hard way, but in the end, he fulfilled his role of bringing John the Baptist into the world.
Tuesday – May It Be Done
May it be done to me according to Your word, Lord. I join with Mary to make this prayer of faith and trust, firmly believing that whatever You allow to happen in my life will have purpose and meaning according to Your will.
Broaden my perspective, Lord, that I may see Your hand and your plan in every event. Increase my faith in You. Increase my hope in Your saving power. Increase my love that I may love You above all and love my neighbor as myself.
May I, like Mary, trust You even when I don't understand and give myself to You that I may be Your instrument. May I carry Your word and Your love to everyone I meet.
May it be done to me according to Your will. Amen.
Wednesday – Joy
“Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! Sing joyfully, O Israel!”
If Israel had cause for joy because God was in its midst, how much more should we Christians be joyful? Our God became Man and lived among us. He died and rose again to take away our sins and open the gates of Heaven. He remains in our souls and in our tabernacles, waiting for us to rejoice in His presence.
But do we rejoice? Are we joyful people? Or do we let our circumstances and stress overcome us and drag us down?
As Christmas approaches, let us pray for an increase of joy as we celebrate the birth of our Savior and all through the year. Amen.