ISSL Reflections December 4 2022 Luke 1:8–20 Post 3

Have you ever lost your voice?

Ever been at a loss for words?

Reread this account keeping in mind anytime you might have not had the words you wanted.

Luke 1:8-20 New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition

Once when he was serving as priest before God during his section’s turn of duty, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to enter the sanctuary of the Lord to offer incense. Now at the time of the incense offering, the whole assembly of the people was praying outside. Then there appeared to him an angel of the Lord, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. When Zechariah saw him, he was terrified, and fear overwhelmed him. But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, for your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you will name him John. You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He must never drink wine or strong drink; even before his birth he will be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will turn many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. With the spirit and power of Elijah he will go before him, to turn the hearts of parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I know that this will happen? For I am an old man, and my wife is getting on in years.” The angel replied, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to bring you this good news. But now, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled in their time, you will become mute, unable to speak, until the day these things occur.”

Maybe you have lost your voice due to laryngitis, some other medical condition, trauma or even overuse or too much yelling.

If so, go back to that experience and notice how it might give you insight into how Zechariah is experiencing the loss of his voice.

Or maybe it isn’t the loss of your voice but the inability to find words to express exactly what you want to say. I suspect most of us can identify with such.

Zechariah is a priest. It seems to me speaking can be an essential part of his priestly duties. He has prayers to speak, blessing to bring and probably expounding on the Torah at many times.

An essential tool has been taken from him. How will this affect him? What might he have occasion to notice during his silence?

If you were given the gift of a period of silence, what would stand out to you? How would it improve your hearing?

{ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est}

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