19 December 2006


Tuesday in the 3rd Week of Advent
Lk 1:5-25

It seems that the husbands are God’s target these two days. Yesterday, Joseph, the husband of Mary was visited by the angel of the Lord in a dream. Today, Zechariah, the husband of Elizabeth, was met by the angel Gabriel inside the Holy of Holies. Both were men who loved astonishing women. Both were shocked by astonishing news. Yesterday was about a young virgin who conceived by the Holy Spirit. Today is about an old barren whose womb God made fresh again for the birth of the Greatest Prophet.

But there is a difference between these two husbands. The first did not say a word before the news. The other could not say a word after the news. Joseph came to know about Mary’s conceiving without him touching her, but he decided to silently divorce her so as not to expose her to the Law. Zechariah always wanted to have a child from Elizabeth, but when finally he was about to have one, he became silent. The first was a virtue. The second, a punishment. The first was due to Joseph’s love for Mary and faith in God. The second was due to Zechariah’s doubt.

The Lord continues to amaze us, to surprise us, even to shock us with His will for us. When we are silent, let us examine if our silence is due to love and faith or due to doubt. The first is a virtue while the second is punishment.


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