Now the time came for Elizabeth to give birth, and she bore a son. Her neighbors and relatives heard that the Lord had shown his great mercy to her, and they rejoiced with her. On the eighth day they came to circumcise the child, and they were going to name him Zechariah after his father. But his mother said, “No; he is to be called John.” They said to her, “None of your relatives has this name.”
Then they began motioning to his father to find out what name he wanted to give him. He asked for a writing tablet and wrote, “His name is John.” And all of them were amazed. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue freed, and he began to speak, praising God. Fear came over all their neighbors, and all these things were talked about throughout the entire hill country of Judea.
All who heard them pondered them and said, “What then will this child become?” For, indeed, the hand of the Lord was with him.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
God’s grace and work in blessing Elizabeth and Zechariah with a child as older parents speaks to our own baptism and how we fit into God’s plan. Elizabeth chose the name John for her son, which is translated in Hebrew to mean “The Lord is gracious.” God’s plan brought John into the world to later announce the birth of the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The story of the birth of John has many similarities to the birth of Jesus. Both were wondrous miracles, unexpected, and heralded with great joy. As we reflect and await the birth of Jesus this Advent season we should also celebrate the birth of John the Baptist and take a moment to seek wonder, joy, and excitement ourselves to see where we fit into God’s plan.
—John LaMantia is a graduate of Fordham University and Saint Ignatius College Prep who is a trial attorney in the service of others. He is on the JFAN Chicago board for the Midwest Jesuits and continues to provide his four children with a Jesuit high school and college education.
Lord, as I look to the remainder of this Advent season, make me aware that you are with me. Show me how to be the person you want me to be and help me discern how I fit into Your plan.
—John LaMantiaPlease share the Good Word with your friends!