Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

019-zechariah-john
Reading: Luke 1:57-66
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child
she gave birth to a son.
Her neighbors and relatives heard
that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her,
and they rejoiced with her.
When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child,
they were going to call him Zechariah after his father,
but his mother said in reply,
“No. He will be called John.”
But they answered her,
“There is no one among your relatives who has this name.”
So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called.
He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,”
and all were amazed.
Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed,
and he spoke blessing God.
Then fear came upon all their neighbors,
and all these matters were discussed
throughout the hill country of Judea.
All who heard these things took them to heart, saying,
“What, then, will this child be?
For surely the hand of the Lord was with him.”
(Luke 1:57-66)
Reflection:
The wider community had expectations for John. He was only eight days
old and already they were making assumptions. They even were going
to choose his name and call him Zechariah after his father.
Assumptions can have a big impact in our lives. Both when they are made
about us and when we make them about others. We assume a family member
is “lying again.” We have our intentions questioned by a colleague. We know
that we have the whole world figured out. This is wrong though. We don’t
know the hearts and minds of others and few know our own. Sure, sometimes
we are proven right and sometimes we live up to the presumptions made by others –
but is it truly helpful for us to live this way?
Would our relationships be stronger if we practiced the pause before making
an assumption? We we find our peace if we did not jump to conclusions? Would
we be surprised how our hearts might respond if we opened them along with
our minds in our encounters with others? What might we accomplish if we
had the courage to move beyond the assumptions that others make about us.
God knows all – we struggle to understand as best we can on this side of life. If
we understand our limitations, we just might grow more than we have ever
thought we possible.
– Fr. Matthew Bailey, FCM
Action Step:
Follow the words of Lori Deschene today and “Practice the pause. Pause before judging. Pause before assuming. Pause before accusing. Pause whenever you’re about to react harshly and you’ll avoid doing and saying things you’ll later regret.
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