Zechariah's Silence

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Today's Gospel reading is the naming of John the Baptist. John's father, Zechariah, was struck dumb after the angel announced to him that he and his wife would have a son. They were advanced in years, and Zechariah doubted that could happen. So the Lord took his voice from him for over nine months.

At the time of his circumcision, Elizabeth said that he would be named John. When the people asked Zechariah about this, he wrote on a tablet, "John is his name." Then his tongue was freed, "and he spoke blessing God."

I often wonder what that protracted time of silence was like for Zechariah. As someone who talks for a living, that would have been hard for me. But I've also found that silence has many benefits. Truth is, maybe we should all be silent just a bit more than we are. Perhaps if we spent a bit more time being silent, our words would be just a bit more effective.

Father, help us to embrace silence, especially in our speech, that our words will more clearly reflect you to others. Amen.

Today's Readings


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