December 23, 2020 – 4th Week in Advent

“Being patient in faith, hope and love in our MUTE moments, so that we may experience the gracious & gifted “HIS NAME IS JOHN” moments in our lives!

(Based on Mal 3:1-4, 4:5-6 and Lk 1:57-66 – Wednesday of the 4th Week in Advent, Year B)

We all are familiar with the ‘remote control’ of a television.

In the remote control, there is the button named “MUTE”.

It is used to put off the sound, momentarily.

Sometimes, in our spiritual lives, too, we undergo the experience of being in the “MUTE” mode with God.

There is a total silence, that pervades our relation with God.

Have we undergone this experience of the “silence” of God?

Do we sometimes feel why is God “absent” in my life?

The Couple of Day – Zechariah and Elizabeth – underwent, this “mute” experience with God.

Though advanced in age, living a life of prayer, service and faithfulness, they were not blessed with the Gift of a Child.

Barrenness, in the Jewish Society was one of the greatest misfortunes for a family.

Being barren was thus a harsh experience for this Devout Couple!

But then came the precious and joyous moment…

The “His Name is John” Moment!
…..when, new life and fresh joy radiated their lives!

The names of John, and his parents – Elizabeth and Zechariah are very significant.

Their names are very significant; it tells  that God’s delays are not His denials
… The name Zechariah means “The Lord remembers”
… The name Elizabeth means, “the oath of God”

Thus, the name of the couple stands for: The Lord remembers His oath!

However, the long years of barrenness would have seemed as a contradiction to them – it seemed God had totally forgotten about them.

But this is where we learn, that God’s delays are certainly not His denials!
He has a better plan (Jer 29:11) – always, without fail!

And they were indeed blessed with a Son – named “John” whose name means “God is Gracious!”

True to this name, after a prolonged period of silence and hush…
… Zechariah and Elizabeth experienced the “Graciousness of God”.

  The long agony had been finally rewarded….with the Graciousness of God – John

The “muteness” that this Couple experienced, also reflected the Silence that the people of Israel experienced…
… in their waiting of the Messiah!

But the Birth of John, was the breaking of this silence.

The World, which waited eagerly for the Messiah, had now heard a Voice!

It was time to put off the “Mute”…
… the Voice had been Born!

John 1:23, ” I am the Voice of one, crying out in the desert!”

John the Baptist, the Voice, had  been born, to announce the coming of Jesus, the Word!

We all undergo “Mute” moments in our lives!

They are painful and agonizing moments…
… when all seems dry, answerless, silent
… when there is only dreadful calm, a total brokenness, painful agonies and miseries
… when there is sometimes even no hope ahead!

Sometimes, in unbelief, we may begin to even question or interrogate God…
… like Zechariah questioned the Angel
… and may even get affected with some physical muteness of health or wealth or prestige or disbelief or  misunderstanding or persecution etc…!

But nothing of our Unbelief will spoil God’s plan for us…

God says in Jer 29:11, “I know well the plans I have in mind for you….plans for your welfare, not for woe; plans to give you a future, full of hope!”

Our “mute” moments will be transformed, into, “His name is John” moments…!
Our “unspoken miseries” will be transfigured into ” gracious and gifted” moments…!

Let’s strengthen our lives with the oft-heard truth about three ways of God answering our prayers…

YES…. I will fulfill your desire in the way you want
WAIT…. in my own time, I will grant your wishes
NO…I have something much better for you!!

Let us be patient in faith, hope and love in our MUTE moments…
… so that we may experience the gracious & gifted “HIS NAME IS JOHN” moments in our lives!

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Quotable-quote-a-day-with-St Francis de Sales (SFS) – “Have patience with all things..

… But, first of all with yourself!”

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