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A team of 200 priests comment on daily Gospel

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Liturgical day: Weekdays of Advent: December 24th

1st Reading (2Sam 7:1-5.8b-12.14a.16): When King David was settled in his palace, and the Lord had given him rest from his enemies on every side, he said to Nathan the prophet, «Here I am living in a house of cedar, while the ark of God dwells in a tent!». Nathan answered the king, «Go, do whatever you have in mind, for the Lord is with you».

But that night the Lord spoke to Nathan and said: «Go, tell my servant David, Thus says the Lord: Should you build me a house to dwell in? It was I who took you from the pasture and from the care of the flock to be commander of my people Israel. I have been with you wherever you went, and I have destroyed all your enemies before you. And I will make you famous like the great ones of the earth. I will fix a place for my people Israel; I will plant them so that they may dwell in their place without further disturbance. Neither shall the wicked continue to afflict them as they did of old, since the time I first appointed judges over my people Israel. I will give you rest from all your enemies. The Lord also reveals to you that he will establish a house for you. And when your time comes and you rest with your ancestors, I will rise up your heir after you, sprung from your loins, and I will make his Kingdom firm. I will be a father to him, and he shall be a son to me. Your house and your Kingdom shall endure forever before me; your throne shall stand firm forever».
Responsorial Psalm: 88
R/. For ever I will sing the goodness of the Lord.
The favors of the Lord I will sing forever; through all generations my mouth shall proclaim your faithfulness. For you have said, «My kindness is established forever»; in heaven you have confirmed your faithfulness.

«I have made a covenant with my chosen one, I have sworn to David my servant: Forever will I confirm your posterity and establish your throne for all generations».

«He shall say of me, ‘You are my father, my God, the rock, my savior’. Forever I will maintain my kindness toward him, and my covenant with him stands firm».
Versicle before the Gospel (---): Alleluia. O Radiant Dawn, Splendor of eternal light, sun of justice: come and shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death. Alleluia.

Gospel text (Lk 1,67-79): Zechariah, filled with holy spirit, sang this canticle, «Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has come and redeemed his people. He has raised up for us a victorious Savior in the house of David his servant, as he promised through his prophets of old, salvation from our enemies and from the hand of our foes. He has shown mercy to our fathers and remembered his holy covenant, the oath he swore to Abraham, our father, to deliver us from the enemy, that we might serve him fearlessly as a holy and righteous people all the days of our lives. And you, my child, shall be called prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord to prepare the way for him and enable his people to know of their salvation when he comes to forgive their sins. This is the work of the mercy of our God, who comes from on high as a rising sun shining on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, and guiding our feet into the way of peace».

«Comes from on high as a rising sun shining on those who live in darkness»

Fr. Ignasi FABREGAT i Torrents
(Terrassa, Barcelona, Spain)

Today, the Gospel gathers Zechariah's song of praise after the birth of his son. In its first part John the Baptist's father thanks God, and in the second, his eyes look forward into the future. He oozes joy and hope on recognizing the salvific action of God toward Israel, which culminates in the coming of the Messiah, prepared by his own son John.

We already know that Zechariah had been punished by God because of his skepticism. Now, however, that the divine action has been made real —as he has recovered his ability to speak— says what he before could express only in his heart: «Blessed be the Lord God of Israel» (Lk 1:68). How Many times do we see the dark side of things, negatively, in a pessimistic way! If only we had the supernatural vision of the facts that Zechariah shows in the Benedictus, we would be constantly living in joy and hope.

«The Lord is at hand; the Lord is here». The forerunner's father is conscious of the fact that the arrival of the Messiah means, above all, light. A light that illuminates those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death. Us! May we realize with full consciousness that Jesus came to illuminate our lives, that he is coming to guide us, to point out the way to go... It would be great if we were to allow Him guide us with His desires, with the hope he has invested in us!

Jesus is the “Lord” (cf. Lk 1:68.76), but he is also the “Savior” (cf. Lk 1:69). These two attributes that Zechariah points to about God, so close to Christmas eve, have always surprised me, because they are precisely the same ones that the Angel of the Lord will assign to Jesus in its announcement to the shepherds and that we will hear touchingly tonight at Midnight Mass. It is God Himself who is born!