Malankara World

Advent - Waiting for the Savior

Advent Week 3 - 3 Candles

Advent Reflections for December 19

Advent Reflections for December 19

Week 3 - Wednesday

Turn to Me and be safe, all you ends of the earth, for I am God; there is no other! (Isaiah 45:22)


We need to be reminded, just like the Israelite people in the desert who built a golden calf, that it is God who is God, not the idols we create. It seems that times are more subtle now. People melting down their jewelry to fashion an idol in a public place is not a common sight in our day. But we do, as a people, flock to certain places and events as if they were important: television sets, soap operas, celebrities. Do I live my day-to-day life as if a supernatural being is my God? Or do I live as if some earthly pleasure or diversion is? Where is my energy expended? Where is my time spent? Where do I turn?

Advent Action

Think of some possession you have that you can give away to the poor. Give to the Catholic Relief Fund or to some other charity.

The Father of John the Baptist

Zechariah was one of approximately 18,000 Jewish priests in Palestine at the time of Jesus.

They were divided into 24 groups of 750 each. Twice a year each group came to the Temple in Jerusalem to serve for a week. Their roles during the week of service were chosen by lot. Some of them, in a given week, weren't chosen to do anything.

Each morning, four lots were cast to decide who would carry out the four tasks of the altar. Then in the afternoon, a fifth lot was cast to determine who would enter the Holy Place to offer the evening incense. This extraordinary privilege usually came only once in a lifetime.

In Luke's account, when the afternoon lot was cast, Zechariah was chosen to enter the Holy Place and offer the evening incense. It was there that the angel appeared to him to announce the birth of John.


by Archbishop Fulton Sheen

What is the idea that runs all through scripture? It is nuptials. The covenant is based on nuptials. As we used to say in the old marriage ceremony, "Not even the flood took it away, not even sin." There was the nuptials of man and woman in the garden of Eden, the nuptials of Israel and God in the Old Testament. In the prophet Hosea: "I your Creator am your husband." God is the husband of Israel.

In that beautiful passage of the book of Hosea, God tells Hosea to marry a prostitute, a worthless woman. She leaves him, betrays him, commits adultery, has children by other men, and when the heart of Hosea is broken, God says, "Hosea, take her back, take her back. She's the symbol of Israel. Israel has been my unworthy spouse, but I love Israel, and I will never let her go." Hosea taking back the prostitute is the symbol of God's love for his qahal, his church of the Old Testament. Now we come to new nuptials, the nuptials of divinity and humanity in our Blessed Mother.

Source: Through the Year With Archbishop Fulton Sheen.

Gospel: The annunciation to Zechariah - Luke 1: 5-25

Malankara World Journal Issue 108

The angel Gabriel said to Zechariah, "Do not be afraid, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John. And you will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth, for he will be great in the sight of the Lord…He will be filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb.".…Luke 1: -5-25

The angel tells Zechariah that his prayer has been heard.

In the story leading up to this point, Luke hadn't told us what Zechariah was praying for. Now we know. He had been praying for Israel, of course, as a Jewish priest would do. But he and Elizabeth, unrealistic though it may have seemed because of their advanced years, had also been praying for a child.

Anything in particular you'd really like to pray for?

Anything going on in your life that has you scared?


God is saying to you: "Do not be afraid."

Spend some quiet time with the Lord.


Lord, help me turn to You and let nothing take me from You, for You alone are my God.

See Also:

Next Day (December 20) | Previous Day (December 18)

Advent Week 3

Advent Week 2

Advent Week 1

Malankara World Advent Supplement

Malankara World Christmas Supplement

MW Advent Supplement | MW Christmas Supplement | Sermons Home | Malankara World Journal | Library - Home

Malankara World
A service of St. Basil's Syriac Orthodox Church, Ohio
Copyright © 2009-2020 - ICBS Group. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer
Website designed, built, and hosted by International Cyber Business Services, Inc., Hudson, Ohio