The Gospel according to Luke (1:57-66, 80)
When the time arrived for Elizabeth to have her child she gave birth to a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy toward her, and they rejoiced with her. When they came on the eighth day to circumcise the child, they were going to call him Zechariah after his father, but his mother said in reply, “No. He will be called John.” But they answered her, “There is no one among your relatives who has this name.” So they made signs, asking his father what he wished him to be called. He asked for a tablet and wrote, “John is his name,” and all were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened, his tongue freed, and he spoke blessing God. Then fear came upon all their neighbors, and all these matters were discussed throughout the hill country of Judea. All who heard these things took them to heart, saying, “What, then, will this child be?” For surely the hand of the Lord was with him. The child grew and became strong in spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his manifestation to Israel.
In August, Ana and I will be married 42 years. You don’t get there with luck, good will, or any other form of positive thinking. It takes commitment, perseverance, and a whole lot of faith! If I had a nickel for ever time I thought or said something that I knew would get me in trouble by not honoring my commitment to love Ana, I would have an Olympic sized pool full of them little suckers. As opposed to knowing when I am leading with my faith, trusting that God will provide me with the most appropriate thing to say or do that will lift Ana rather than putting another nickel in the pool. The difference is faith!
Faith is being able to let go and let God. There have been many times when we have had our challenges and I lose sleep and worry that we won’t be able to overcome or get past whatever it is. Those are the times I must remember that we have to keep God in the center of our relationship like Paul and I learned in Marriage Encounter. I have to believe we are not alone and we can count on Christ.
Earlier in Luke’s gospel Zachariah loses his speech as a result of not believing the Angel Gabriel’s message from God. In other words, he lacked the faith to believe with God all things are possible. His speech did not return until what the angel had testified came to be and Zachariah, with faith in God’s plan declared what had been shared with him. He was cooperating with the grace of God and relying on his faith to move beyond his doubt. That is how it has been for me in my relationship with Ana. When I cooperate with the grace of God and follow His will what I think, say, and do edifies our Sacrament. And, in our little corner of the world God’s glory is revealed and the impossible is made possible.
Action of the Day:
Is there a time recently you have struggled trusting God’s plan? Has your faith waivered regarding something specific? Go back to that and let’s all pray for each other to have the strength, courage, and faith to trust that God’s ways are above ours. Like with Zachariah and Elizabeth, God makes the impossible possible.