This gospel passage tells the story of Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, giving birth and naming her son, John the Baptist. During this time her husband, Zechariah, was made mute because he did not believe in the Angel Gabriel’s prophecy. Elizabeth and Zechariah were divinely instructed to name their child John, but during this time naming a child was a sensitive subject. Normally children would be named after other family members. Considering there was no other man in their family named John, Elizabeth received push back when she tried to name her son John. It is at this time that Zechariah inscribed in a tablet “No. He will be called John.” Zechariah, someone who at first struggled to believe in the Angel Gabriel’s prophecy, became the person who made sure that God’s divine instructions would be followed. As soon as he did this, he was able to speak again.
I believe that we can look up to Zechariah in our everyday lives. When he is not fully trusting in God’s will, he begins to face obstacles—he is unable to speak. When he surrenders his will to God and allows the hand of God to be with him, he is able to speak and to proclaim God’s instructions. During this Advent season, we should open our minds and our hearts to God’s divine instructions, to be ready and able to prepare for the birth of Christ.