Saturday of the Third Week of Advent

Today’s reading describes the story of Elizabeth and her husband Zachariah.  According to the story Elizabeth, well past child bearing years, became pregnant and the angelic messenger of God informed Zachariah that his son would be a great prophet announcing the Messiah. It is no surprise that Zachariah was a bit doubtful, but upon returning home from his service in the temple he discovers his wife has some surprising news.

The gospel of Luke is full of surprises. The birth of Christ described by Luke places the Messiah in a manager among sheep and shepherds. In this same gospel we read how God’s forgiveness is like the Father of the prodigal son or that the kingdom of God is something small, like the yeast a woman kneads into the dough. Surprising too was the message we here in Luke on how the kingdom of God is for the poor and rejected and God’s mercy is not only for the perfect but is for all sinners.

As we celebrate the beginning of the Jubilee year of Mercy, we can allow ourselves to be surprised by God’ s mercy and surprise others on sharing that mercy with those in most need.

December 19th, 2015