Say Yes

Thursday 24th December

Keep saying ‘yes’

– Fourth Week of Advent: Christmas Eve –

By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace. [Luke 1:78-79]

The words in today’s Gospel text are lifted from the song of praise and hope exclaimed by Zechariah in response to his experience of God at work in his life. Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist, had been on a rough ride. It began because, in contrast to Mary, Zechariah had his doubts.

With the exception of Mary, we are all Zechariah. If our journey through Advent reveals anything at all, it is that our struggle to take on board what God is offering us is an intrinsic part of who we are. Our incomprehension around what God is doing is often apparent. Our resistance is ongoing. The ramifications of our either not paying attention, or resisting what we learn to be true, are profound. Zechariah was rendered mute as a consequence of his inability to respond in faith to what was being offered to him. The same is true of us when we fail to respond to what God is doing. We may have plenty to say, but none of it will be of any consequence in terms of bringing about God’s kingdom.

God’s instructions to the prophet Nathan in today’s first reading are not without significance here: “Go and tell my servant David, Thus the Lord speaks: Are you the man to build me a house to dwell in?” (2 Samuel 7:5). These words remind us that God has a plan, and God is in charge (2 Samuel 7:11). This is what Zechariah had to learn. So do we. Trust that God wants to be born in your life and will do whatever needs to be done to bring that about – just keep saying ‘yes’.

This will be the final Daily Gospel Reflection for 2020. We will commence again in early February. Thanks to those of you who have joined us on this journey, begun in response to the Covid-19 shutdown earlier this year. This was our response to the fact that many of us could not join with our faith communities in ways that had previously been possible. My thanks to colleagues who have joined me in sharing their prayer and insights over this period.

“By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us.” Happy Christmas!

By Shane Dwyer

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