Tuesday, September 23, 2008

"He Will Be Great Before the Lord"

Blessed Feast of the Conception of the Holy Prophet, Forerunner, and Baptist, John! (In case you haven't noticed, Byzantines like long, descriptive titles for feast days (and saints). Mary's full title is: All-holy, immaculate, most blessed and glorified Lady, the Theotokos and Ever-Virgin Mary.)

I've always loved the story of John's conception. Especially how Zachariah is struck dumb because he does not believe the angel who tells him he will have a son! I often feel like I should be made mute at my frequent doubt. After all God has done for His people, why should we not believe in His promises? If He has promised, it will be granted. Elizabeth says, at the close of the passage in Luke's gospel: "Thus the Lord has done to me in the days when he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." And thus the Lord shall do for all those who have faith in His promises.

Sing, O barren one that didst not bear, for thou hast conceived the lamp of the Sun Who is to enlighten the whole world suffering blindness. O Zacharias rejoice and shout: 'The Prophet of the Most High is to be born.'

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