Zechariah was a good man. The Gospel called both he and Elizabeth “worthy in the sight of God” (Luke 1:5-25, the Gospel for the 19th December.) But Zechariah didn’t have the faith to believe the Angel Gabriel’s message, that his wife would have a son and hence he was struck dumb for his lack of faith, for “nothing is impossible to God.”
Our Lady, like Zechariah also had to believe in the impossible – conceiving a child by the power of the Holy Spirit. Her response was to do the will of God.
Men, who are discerning a vocation, need the grace to believe in the impossible, and respond to it generously, by striving to do the will of God which often is not easy. We today, use the example of Mary asking her to pray for us, assisting us to do the will of God and to respond by using Mary’s words on our lips, “I am the handmaid of the Lord, let what you have said to done to me.” (Luke 1:26-38, Gospel for the 20th December.)
Kind regards and God bless
Fr. Eamon Kennedy
23rd December 2013