Cloistered Dominican Nuns Corpus Christi Monastery

O Root of Jesse’s Stem…Come to Save us without delay!

O Root of Jesse’s stem, sign of God’s love for all his people: come to save us without delay!

Readings: Judges 13:2-7.24-25a, Ps 71, Luke 1:5-25

“You will be unable to speak until my words come to pass.” It was many months that Zechariah was unable to speak. He finished his priestly service in silence. How long was this? Days? Weeks? Months? Had he been a talkative man? However long it was, he was there in the Temple of the Lord in silence able to quietly contemplate the message he had received from the angel and the mystery of the God of all Creation who chose to dwell in a mere building made by the hands of men.

Zechariah went home to Elizabeth, and after finding a way to communicate to her that an angel of God had appeared to him and announced that she would be with child and bear a son, he was again left in silence to wonder at the beginning of the fulfillment of this seemingly impossible, too good to be true, prophecy. Elizabeth went into seclusion, and Zechariah must have often been left alone as people forgot that although unable to talk, he could still listen, and listen he did. He heard the emptiness, the calm and quiet of silence; he heard the everyday of his household going on around him; he heard the arrival of young Mary and the beautiful exchange she had with his wife as they sang together of the goodness of God and His marvelous deeds in their lives.

He heard the still small voice, and when Gabriel’s words came to pass and his mouth was opened, he could not help but to proclaim it to the rooftops: Blessed be the God of Israel, he has come to his people!

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