August 15, 2022     7:02 am
23. Forth Week in Advent - Monday
John the Baptist
          Behold, I will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me.   Malachi 3:1
          Immediately before the appearance of Christ a messenger, or preacher, was to come who, by most impressively preaching repentance, should prepare the Saviour's coming into the hearts of men. This had been prophesied three times. (Is. 40:3-5; Mal. 3:1; 4:5-6) And when God in a miraculous way sent word that this preparer of the way should be born, there appeared the first glimmer of the dawn of breaking day, the day of the fulfilment, of all prophecies. Hear how it was done. In the days of King Herod there lived in the land of Judea a priest named Zacharias, and his wife's name was Elizabeth. They were both sincerely pious. And they had no child, and were well on in years. One day, while Zacharias was burning incense in the temple, and the multitude of the people prayed outside, in the court of the temple, there appeared to him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. When Zacharias saw him, he was troubled. But the angel said to him: "Fear not, Zacharias; for your prayer is heard, and your wife Elizabeth shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name John. And you shall have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother's womb. And he shall turn many of the children of Israel to the Lord, their God. And he shall go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord." Zacharias said: "How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife well on in years." The angel answered: "I am Gabriel, who stands in the presence of God, and am sent to speak to You, and to show You these glad tidings. And, behold, You shall be dumb, and not able speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because You did not believe my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season." And Zacharias remained speechless until his son John was born. (Luke 1:5-25) O Christians, do not think it worthless to contemplate, both with eye and heart, the time when the precious, wondrous deeds God for our salvation were accomplished!
          PRAYER: - I give thanks to You, most merciful and true God, for having fulfilled Your Word given through the prophets, and for causing that day of salvation to dawn which so gladdens my heart. Let this Your work, I beseech You, be the light of my eyes, and the joy of my heart, that my faith may be true and well grounded, not on anything that I may have done, but solely on what You have graciously perfected, and on Your Word, which is firm and unchanging, even as You are, God, blessed forever. Amen.

First Part : Festival Season
August 15, 2022     7:02 am