In the days of Herod, King of Judea, there was a priest named Zechariah…
Once when he was serving as priest in his division’s turn before God… the angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right of the altar of incense. Zechariah was troubled by what he saw, and fear came upon him.
But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord.” …
And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. …
Meanwhile the people were waiting for Zechariah and were amazed that he stayed so long in the sanctuary. But when he came out, he was unable to speak to them, and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary. He was gesturing to them but remained mute.
Then, when his days of ministry were completed, he went home.
After this time his wife Elizabeth conceived, and she went into seclusion for five months, saying, “So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.”
ELIZABETH WILL BEAR YOU A SON. Though Samson and John the Baptist live a thousand years apart, they are both chosen by God for a similar mission: to prepare the coming of the Messiah. Samson defends Israel from their enemy, the Philistines. On his part, John the Baptist calls upon Israel to repent and return to the Lord.
Both are also born under irregular circumstances because both their mothers are said to be sterile and advanced in years, and thus considered to be unable to conceive a child. But Manoah’s wife gives birth to Samson, and Elizabeth gives birth to John the Baptist.
For Zechariah and Elizabeth, the fact that they are having a child is good news. God has taken away their ignominy. Zechariah, however, entertains doubts so the angel has to lead him to a nine-month period of silence. As a priest in the Temple who receives on that day the honor of burning incense inside the sanctuary, he is also being given the good news about finally having a son.
SOURCE: “365 Days with the Lord 2018,” ST. PAULS Philippines, 7708 St. Paul Rd., SAV, Makati City (Phils.); Tel.: 895-9701; Fax 895-7328; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://www.stpauls.ph.