God has already fulfilled all promises, even those we carry in our hearts and do not yet see fulfilled.
Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.
The few hours that separate us from Jesus’ birth are prepared by Zechariah’s words of joy. This righteous man who has allowed himself to be converted in a deeper way by God can indeed teach his son John the trade: to prepare the way of the Lord.
What John will do all his life, Zechariah seems to do today in this liturgy. He sings of the fulfillment of God’s promises. Zechariah gives voice to all those who have always given credence to the Lord in their lives by looking for greater meaning than the simple things the world propounds.
One day St. Paul will write that “hope in God does not disappoint.” The birth of Jesus is the fulfillment of all hope and proof that God has already fulfilled all promises, even those we carry in our hearts and do not yet see fulfilled. Jesus’ birth also fulfilled the promises that our children and our children’s children will carry in their hearts until the end of the world.
Today with him we can truly say that in a few hours “the dawn from on high shall break upon us, to shine on those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.