Simbang Gabi 2017: Redemption

by Melanie on December 23, 2017

in Catholicism, Going 60 MPH, Memoir, Nonfiction, Saints, Simbang Gabi, Spirituality

We saw Zechariah in the Gospel earlier this week, all querulous about the news the angel Gabriel was bringing. How could Zechariah’s wife be pregnant after all these years? Why should he believe? Gabriel, not thrilled about this reaction, struck Zechariah speechless, saying the old man would be unable to talk until after all the things the angel had promised occurred.

Today, we see Zechariah’s redemption. This time, it’s the neighbors and relatives challenging Elizabeth about the statement that the baby will be named John, as the angel had told both her and her husband. They discount her, noting John is not a family name, and ask Zechariah. Zechariah motions for a tablet and writes four words:

“John is his name.” (Luke 1:63, NAB)

And with that, Zechariah’s speech returns and he offers praise.

“Despite Zechariah’s hesitancy, God still works,” this morning’s Simbang Gabi celebrant, Father Patrick Whittle, noted. “… We’ve all had hesitancies, but it’s never too late to turn toward the Lord … even when we are deaf and mute.”

Getting up at 4:30 a.m. or earlier, for many of us making the novena, has had that effect. The regular, day-to-ay noise of life can leave us numb to the Lord’s call. For me, this annual sacrifice is a gift. It makes me slow down. It makes me listen. It makes me believe that with His help, I can be the person He desires.

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