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God Speaks in Silence - Weekday Homily Video

God Speaks in Silence - Weekday Homily Video

Why pray?

There is a saying: 'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is." This seems to be Zechariah's thought in the Gospel of Luke after the angel Gabriel gives him great-sounding news: Elizabeth and he are going to have a child. Because he doubts the angel's word, Zechariah is struck mute.



One of God's characteristics is that He is unpredictable. He likes to surprise us, and often uses unconventional means to achieve His purpose. For example, throughout the Bible, He chooses a younger brother over an older brother whenever He launches a new phase in the history of salvation. Thus, He favors Abel over Cain (Gn 4:1-5), Isaac over Ishmael (Gn 16; Gn 21), Jacob over Esau (Gn 25:27), and Joseph over his eleven brothers (Gn 37). In like manner, He chooses someone belonging to an unimportant group or clan: Gideon (Jgs 6:15), Saul (1 Sm 9:21), and even the people of Israel itself, called "the smallest of all peoples.”

Several times during the history of salvation, He chose a sterile or older woman to bear a son who would initiate the next phase of that history: Sarah, Isaac's mother, and Hannah, the prophet Samuel's mother. We hear of two more unlikely mothers in the readings of today's liturgy: the unnamed mother of Samson, and Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist.

The angel Gabriel tells Zechariah about his wife bearing a child despite her barrenness and old age. Zechariah finds it unbelievable and is afraid; this may be because he does not know how to break this news to his kinsfolk without being seen as out of his mind. However, God spares Zechariah from this undue burden. He intervenes and does all the talking for him. Zechariah is rendered “speechless and unable to talk until the days these things take place.”


The Value of Silence


The Gospel points to the value of silence. God speaks in silence. Zechariah is rendered speechless after questioning the possibility of Elizabeth begetting a child in her old age. Elizabeth goes into seclusion for five months, relishing God's marvel for her and Zechariah.

In the hush of awe, God's whispers unfurl. Like Zechariah, struck silent by wonder, we encounter the divine in tranquility. Cloaked in five months of stillness, Elizabeth cradled God's promise within. Silence is a sanctuary where hearts yearn and listen. Not the absence of sound, but a touch on the soul, a melody unheard.

Amidst the festive clamor, there was a pause for hushed surrender. Beyond shopping sprees and midnight madness, a whispered prayer, a plea for guidance. In quiet moments, amidst life's noise, God's voice emerges, clear and still. Let silence be our compass when faced with weighty choices, leading us to wisdom's wellspring. God speaks in the stillness, and we, like Zechariah and Elizabeth, find ourselves filled with wonder, ready to receive His grace.

May the silence of the manger lead us.

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About Father Boby John, C.S.C.

Father Boby John, C.S.C., ordained a priest in the Congregation of Holy Cross in 2008, worked as a pastor and as an educator with tribal populations in Northeast India for thirteen years. Originally from Kerala, India, Father Boby grew up with three siblings. He is a dedicated and detailed educationist with experience in educational leadership. He is currently working as an executive assistant at the world headquarters of Holy Cross Family Ministries, North Easton, Massachusetts.