A Time to Wait for God’s Coming

by | Dec 4, 2016 | Formation, Reflections


St. Luke, in his Gospel, before writing about the birth of Jesus, speaks about the coming of God in the life of  Zechariah and Elizabeth (Lk1:5-24). Both of them were righteous before God, living blamelessly according to all the commandments of the Lord. But still that they had their personal pain and sorrow, that is they had no children. St. Luke, specially adds, “Elizabeth was barren and both of them were old,” to show us the totally impossible situation in which God intervened in their life.

Even in the face of apparent hopeless and desperate situation they don’t give in to despair and dejection. John Paul II, in his encyclical Evangelium Vitae, speaks of the struggle between the opposite forces of the culture of life and culture of death in the human soul. For many this struggle ends up in despair. Despair is giving up the struggle and succumbing to the forces of evil working in and around us.

The response of Zechariah and Elizabeth to suffering was quite different. In the face of apparent silence of God and in front of the mystery of suffering, they didn’t plunge into despair or self-pity. We find Zechariah, in the sanctuary of the temple doing the incense offering to the Lord.  It is here the Lord encounters Zechariah.

The Lord promises to Zechariah that he will have a son. As the Lord had promised, Elizabeth in her old age conceived and gave birth to John the Baptist. Now when the neighbors and relatives heard about it they said, that “the Lord had shown his great mercy.”

As all other biblical names, the names Zechariah and Elizabeth have something to tell us. The name “Zechariah” means God remembered, “Elizabeth” means God’s Promise and “John” means the gift of God’s mercy. These three teach us and remind us that our God is always seeing us, remembering us and he is always faithful in his tender mercy and love towards us.

The life of Zechariah and Elizabeth is a model for us in our spiritual journey in this advent season. They teach us not to lose heart in the face of difficulties, challenges and in the dark moments of life. These can turn to be occasions for God to come into our life. We are reminded that there is nothing impossible for God. If we wait for the Lord in hope and prayer, He will turn our desperate situations of life into joyful moments.

About the Author:

fr-binoyFr. Binoy Puthusery, C.M. is a Vincentian priest belonging to the Southern Indian Province. He was ordained as priest on December 27, 2008 and soon after served as an assistant parish priest in Tanzania.  In 2011, after two years of ministry, he was appointed as Spiritual Director to the Vincentian Sisters of Mercy, Mbinga Tanzania, where he still is today. 


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