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Wednesday of the Third Week of Advent (I)

December 19

O Radix Jesse or O Root of Jesse
O Root of Jesse, (Isaiah 11:1)
You stand for the ensign of mankind (Isaiah 11:10); before You kings shall keep silence and to You all nations shall have recourse (Isaiah 52:15). * Come, save us, and do not delay (Habakkuk 2:3).

The Gift of Silence

Judges 13:2-7, 24-25; Luke 1:5-25

" . . . when he came out, he was unable to speak to them,
and they realized that he had seen a vision in the sanctuary." Luke 1:22

The sounds of the season can be beautiful, mesmerizing.

They also can be distractions as we await the coming of our Lord.

Two narratives today anticipate wondrous births:  Babies whose comings are proclaimed by an angel of God.

The second story, about Zechariah, includes an odd detail: the power of speech taken away from the father-to-be.  I recall being taught this passage years ago in Sunday school.  My immature understanding was that Zechariah was being punished, and the reading does make it sound that way.

But what if Zechariah's time of silence is not a punishment?   What if it is a gentle gift from Gabriel?

Think about it: Here¹s the angel of God telling this guy that not only is he to experience the joy of fatherhood in his old age, but that the child, possessed by the spirit and power of Elijah, will win the hearts of thousands for God.  How does Zechariah react?

He starts babbling about himself.

Sure, Zechariah is a devout priest. Maybe he's also a self-obsessed egoist who can't hear God, or anyone else, because he thinks everything is about him and him alone.  Maybe he can't be still long enough to know any better.  What a huge favor Gabriel has done for Zechariah.  In order to be the father John needs, Zechariah is going to have to zip it up and learn to truly hear God.

Today I think that a good chunk of my Advent ought to be a time of silence.

My prayer, as we draw near to our celebrations of the birth of Jesus, is that God will silence me and open my ears to His guidance, His love, His glory.

By Steve Klein

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *


"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)



"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)



"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)



"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)



"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)