“And the angel of the Lord appeared to the woman and said to her, although you are barren, having borne no children, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now be careful not to drink wine or strong drink or to eat anything unclean, for you shall conceive and bear a son.” (Judges 13:3-5)
Who can predict the mind of God? Nobody. Who knows what will happen tomorrow? Nobody. In our pursuit of scientific knowledge, we have discovered many laws, for instance, the law of gravity, the law of motion, etc. We see these laws daily, but what science cannot tell us is who put these laws in place. I bring you Good News today. He who created those laws can change them on your behalf.
This is what we find playing out in both of our readings today. God blessed women regarded as barren with children. And that was not all; the children they bore were extraordinary. As St. Paul makes clear to us: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God.” (1st Corinthians 1:27-29).
To shame Goliath, God chose David. To shame those mocking Hannah and Elizabeth, God gave them children. Avoid laughing at others. Avoid labelling people with their condition. Do not write off anybody as good for nothing; you are not God.
Christmas reminds us that with God, all things are possible. Our celebration goes beyond merriment; it allows us to reflect on how God shows up when all hope is lost. As one author said, “God writes straight on jagged lines.” The fact that you are presently experiencing barrenness in one way or another does not mean that is the end of your story. God works in mysterious ways.
Zechariah prayed for many years for a child and did not get an answer. When the answer came, Zachariah eventually forgot what he had been praying for. He felt that God had decided not to grant him a child anymore. His doubt was obvious to the Angel. What is that which I have been praying for? Have I reached a point of doubt?
Let us pray: Almighty, ever-living God, strengthen my faith when times are hard. Through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen.
Bible Study: Judges 13:2-7,24-25, Ps. 71:3-6,16-17, Luke 1:5-25).
@Rev. Fr. Evaristus E. Abu