Wednesday, December 13, 2017: Psalm 27; Malachi 2:10-3:1; Luke 1:5-17
from David Zamora
Everybody appears to know it: Being bad pays off! Worse case scenario, you will have to apologize. However, sometimes even omitting verbal recognition of your fault --a sign of weakness according to the world's current tendencies, will make you appear determined, successful, invincible. Everybody knew this in a world where vanity was exalted, where dishonesty won the game, where the hand of God seemed to be on the side of the bad guys; Such was the opinion of God's people four hundred years before the coming of the Messiah.
For Malachi's audience believing that God would fulfill his promises was difficult. The idea of making Israel great again was plainly impossible; they were destined to be nothing more than an insignificant province of the dominant empire of the moment. The immorality, which ruled among their sophisticated oppressors, found its way among those who were promised to be a nation of holy people. According to the Lord's prophet, they went as far as to affirm that “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and he delights in them.” God responded to the people's incredulity in a surprising way: with a promise! The Lord announced that he would come to his temple.
How easy is to believe that God has forgotten his promises in a world permeated by bad news. The return of our king feels distant, the night colder and darker. In a time like this Gabriel appeared to Zechariah, while he served in the temple. In a time of hopelessness and tyranny, God gave life to his messenger, John the Baptist, from the barren womb of a righteous woman. In a time of priestly corruption, God called his messenger to witness his arrival before a people who had forgotten that its true fulfillment came from the Lord.
With these stories in mind, let us remember, during this day, that God is using his Church as a messenger of his arrival. Let us respond to such honor with a faithful service, like the one Zechariah was performing when Gabriel gave him the good news. Let us endure with patience the apparent barrenness of the righteous life. Let us announce to the world the message of the cross, even if the price is our own head.
Father, you who are our strength, help us to honor you with our thoughts --in unbendable faith, and our actions --in continuous service, while we wait for the arrival of your son, our Lord Christ in his Glory.