Daily Gospel Reflection – December 24, 2022
Bishop Robert Barron
December 24, 2022
Saturday of the Fourth Week of Advent
Gospel: Lk 1:67-79
Zechariah his father, filled with the Holy Spirit, prophesied, saying: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free. He has raised up for us a mighty Savior, born of the house of his servant David. Through his prophets he promised of old that he would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us. He promised to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant. This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hand of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life. You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way, to give his people knowledge of salvation by the forgiveness of their sins. In the tender compassion of our God 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.”
*United States Conference of Catholic
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, the Canticle of Zechariah declares how Jesus fulfills the Old Testament’s expectations of salvation.
Once we grasp that Jesus was no ordinary teacher and healer but Yahweh moving among his people, we can begin to understand his words and actions more clearly. If we survey the texts of the Old Testament—and the first Christians relentlessly read Jesus in light of these writings—we see that Yahweh was expected to do four great things: he would gather the scattered tribes of Israel; he would cleanse the holy temple in Jerusalem; he would definitively deal with the enemies of the nation; and finally, he would reign as Lord of the world.
The eschatological hope expressed especially in the prophets and the Psalms was that through these actions Yahweh would purify Israel, and through the purified Israel he would bring salvation to all. What startled the first followers of Jesus was that he accomplished these four tasks but in the most unexpected way.