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December 24, 2022

Lk 1: 67-79

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. 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.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Canticle of Zechariah

As someone who enjoys random trivia of all kinds, and church trivia in particular, one thing I’ve loved sharing this year is that this is the longest that Advent can possibly last. Because Christmas falls on a Sunday, we get a full seven days for the Fourth Week of Advent, instead of a truncated one. That means that it’s relatively rare for us to get all the way to today’s prophecy by Zechariah, which makes me love reading the words even more.

Imagine Zechariah, who hasn’t spoken for nine months, joyfully praising God for all of God has done for the people of Israel. He then turns his attention to his newborn son, John, recognizing the role he will play in pointing people to the Messiah. What a scene to have witnessed! 

As we approach tomorrow’s celebration of the Nativity, take a few moments to reflect on some of the words of Zechariah, and the promise that was fulfilled through Christ Jesus. 

“He promised to show mercy...”
“...to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.”
“...the tender compassion of our God…”
“...to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

—Lauren Gaffey is the associate director of communications for the Midwest Jesuits and an associate director of Ignatian Young Adult Ministries for the Office of Ignatian Spirituality.

 

Prayer 

The dawn breaks upon us with tender compassion
To shine in the darkness and we become your righteousness

Your promise of mercy, how made true on calvary
Our ransom has been paid and now we prepare the way

Declare victory!
You set us free!

For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing
For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing

From all sins and evil, from the snares of the devil
From your wrath, from our death, from a doubtful heart
That chokes on human breath

You deliver me!
You set us free!

For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing
For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing

Hallelujah

—Lyrics to “Canticle of Zechariah” by Matt Maher


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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December 24, 2022

Lk 1: 67-79

Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we would be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us. 

Thus he has shown the mercy promised to our ancestors, and has remembered his holy covenant, the oath that he swore to our ancestor Abraham, to grant us that we, being rescued from the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before him all our days. 

And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. 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.”

New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.

 

Canticle of Zechariah

As someone who enjoys random trivia of all kinds, and church trivia in particular, one thing I’ve loved sharing this year is that this is the longest that Advent can possibly last. Because Christmas falls on a Sunday, we get a full seven days for the Fourth Week of Advent, instead of a truncated one. That means that it’s relatively rare for us to get all the way to today’s prophecy by Zechariah, which makes me love reading the words even more.

Imagine Zechariah, who hasn’t spoken for nine months, joyfully praising God for all of God has done for the people of Israel. He then turns his attention to his newborn son, John, recognizing the role he will play in pointing people to the Messiah. What a scene to have witnessed! 

As we approach tomorrow’s celebration of the Nativity, take a few moments to reflect on some of the words of Zechariah, and the promise that was fulfilled through Christ Jesus. 

“He promised to show mercy...”
“...to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins.”
“...the tender compassion of our God…”
“...to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

—Lauren Gaffey is the associate director of communications for the Midwest Jesuits and an associate director of Ignatian Young Adult Ministries for the Office of Ignatian Spirituality.

 

Prayer 

The dawn breaks upon us with tender compassion
To shine in the darkness and we become your righteousness

Your promise of mercy, how made true on calvary
Our ransom has been paid and now we prepare the way

Declare victory!
You set us free!

For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing
For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing

From all sins and evil, from the snares of the devil
From your wrath, from our death, from a doubtful heart
That chokes on human breath

You deliver me!
You set us free!

For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing
For from you and through you and for you are all things
To you be all glory, all honour, all blessing

Hallelujah

—Lyrics to “Canticle of Zechariah” by Matt Maher


Please share the Good Word with your friends!

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