Heaven Holds the Key
Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Today, I will strive to edify others through my words.
by Father Barry O'Toole, LC | Source: Catholic.net
Luke 1: 67-79
I believe in your
loving presence with me, Lord, and I tremble as I consider the immense love you have for me. I do
not deserve your grace, and yet I cannot live without it. You have called me to rise above my sin
and misery and to live in your love as one of your children. I truly want to show you my
Lord, help me to seek you and find you through
1. Silence for Reflection:
Zechariah had been in silence (a silence
imposed by God) for over nine months. Perhaps at the beginning, he had felt frustrated at not being
able to communicate normally with others. As time goes on, that frustration turns into resignation
and reluctant acceptance. Through perseverance and prayer, suddenly he begins to love the trial God
had imposed on him, embracing it wholeheartedly and willingly. When we see someone who is suffering,
be it in a hospital, a nursing home or even on the street or at work, we need to bring them this
message of hope. Suffering has a meaning, a redemptive value, if we unite our sufferings to those of
2. Silence for Union with Our Lord:
We see that Zechariah’s 9-month
“retreat” has provided him the opportunity for a closer contact with God. Through prayer he has been
brought to a deeper and experiential knowledge of God, which has converted him into an apostle in
his desire to share this experience with others. As his wife’s period of waiting results in her
giving birth to a prophet, so Zechariah’s “incubation” period also turns him into a prophet: He
foretells that salvation for his people is near at hand. We will have words of wisdom and
encouragement for others when we have discovered how to be alone with God in the secret depths of
our hearts. Silence is a vehicle for achieving this intimacy.
3. Silence for
At some moment during his tribulation, Zechariah would recall the angel’s words, “you
will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place” (Luke 1:20). Hope would
invade his heart. The day is coming when he would be able to speak again! He has nine months to
prepare his speech. The first words he utters as his tongue is loosened are not a curse against God
for having made him suffer, but a hymn of praise for his mercy on a sinful humanity. He has
experienced this mercy in his own flesh. We are meant to communicate truth through speech, and the
greatest truth is what God has done for each of us and wishes to do for every single person. When
our speech is a result of what we have first meditated on profoundly, our words will bear fruit.
Does my speech normally edify others? Do my words ordinarily come from the good I have
experienced in God’s company? Am I aware of how much we can build up others through good
Conversation with Christ:
Lord, your birth comes tonight. I
want to have a proper place
prepared for you. Please help me to make it warm and
for you. Make up for what is lacking in my poor efforts to please
you. O King of Glory, may my every thought, word and deed of
this day be a
fitting homage for your coming.
Today, I will strive to edify
others through my words.
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