Praised be Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.
St. John the Baptist, the forerunner of the Lord, is born and at his circumcision, the tongue of his father Zechariah was loosened when he insisted that the name John was to be given to the child. Remember that Zechariah was made dumb at the apparition of the angel and his ability to speak will only return when all that was told him would come to pass. And true to the angel’s word, his speech was restored. Zechariah’s silence before the birth of John portrayed the silence of God because for many years, no prophet was sent to Israel. John’s birth broke the silence not only of Zechariah but of God as well. God once again sends a prophet and after the prophet, his Son. First, the voice and then followed the Word.
But it is not only John who will prophesy. Zechariah will prophesy as well. Here we see the signs of the day of the Lord: “In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.” Acts 2:17. To prophesy is not to predict the future. To prophesy is to speak in the name of the Lord. And the Spirit poured out on all people on the day of the Lord will make of us visionaries, dreamers, and prophets.
Pope Francis wrote: “In all the baptized, from first to last, the sanctifying power of the Spirit is at work, impelling us to evangelization.” [Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 119.] “In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples (cf. Mt 28:19). All the baptized, whatever their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of evangelization, and it would be insufficient to envisage a plan of evangelization to be carried out by professionals while the rest of the faithful would simply be passive recipients. The new evangelization calls for personal involvement on the part of each of the baptized. Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus: we no longer say that we are ‘disciples’ and ‘missionaries’, but rather that we are always ‘missionary disciples’.” [EG, 120.]
“…each of us should find ways to communicate Jesus wherever we are. All of us are called to offer others an explicit witness to the saving love of the Lord, who despite our imperfections offers us his closeness, his word and his strength, and gives meaning to our lives. In your heart you know that it is not the same to live without him; what you have come to realize, what has helped you to live and given you hope, is what you also need to communicate to others. Our falling short of perfection should be no excuse; on the contrary, mission is a constant stimulus not to remain mired in mediocrity but to continue growing. The witness of faith that each Christian is called to offer leads us to say with Saint Paul: “Not that I have already obtained this, or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Phil 3:12-13).” [EG, 121.]
Jesus, I trust in you. O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.