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Saturday, December 19, 2020

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Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17
Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17

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“silent night”

Elizabeth “went into seclusion for five months.” —Luke 1:24

After conceiving St. John the Baptizer, Elizabeth went into seclusion. As her husband could not speak nor hear, it was undoubtedly a quiet period for her. When the Blessed Virgin Mary arrived in Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy (Lk 1:36, 39), Elizabeth must have been overjoyed to have a companion with whom to share her holy joy, much less to have the mother of the Lord in her midst.

Elizabeth’s husband Zechariah spent nine months in silence, reflecting in wonder at the gradual, visible growth of his son in his wife’s womb. Each day, Zechariah must have rejoiced in the visible answer to his prayers for a child uttered decades before. He must also have reflected on the awesome power of God, manifested in the visit of the angel Gabriel, and in his own inability to speak. Zechariah and Elizabeth had, in a sense, a nine-month novena filled with awe and wonder.

The novena ended with the birth of the boy and the obedience of Zechariah in naming him John. John’s birth culminated in the explosion of prophetic praise uttered in Zechariah’s Benedictus (Lk 1:67-79). Let the silent night of Christmas result in an outpouring of evangelization and praise in your life.  May the praise of God burst forth from each of us after an Advent of reflection on the power of God.

Prayer:  Father, may I overflow with joy over the incarnate Jesus. Fill this last week before Christmas with silent reflection and deepening joy.

Promise:  “Joy and gladness will be yours, and many will rejoice at his birth.” —Lk 1:14

Praise:  “Joy and gladness will be yours, and many will rejoice at his birth.” —Lk 1:14

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  "In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period from December 1, 2020 through January 31, 2021. Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 14, 2020"

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.