“He will be called John.” Lk. 1:60
I love today’s Gospel reading about the naming of John the Baptist! The customs of the time included the expectation that newborn sons should be named after their fathers or grandfathers. However, in Luke 1:13 (prior to today’s reading), the angel tells Zechariah that his new baby should be named John. At the time of the baby’s birth, Zechariah was unable to speak for himself. I greatly admire how Elizabeth stood up to her neighbors and relatives and insisted that the child be named John. She rejected the crowd who was pressuring her to adhere to traditional customs. Elizabeth followed God’s will and named her child John. She was obedient to what God had asked of her.
In the Scriptures, when God is involved in naming a child, that child is significant to His plans. God asked that Elizabeth and Zechariah’s son be named John. John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus to reach into the lives and hearts of each of us. God’s plan for John was fulfilled!
Through our baptisms, God calls each of us by name. Like John, we are each significant to God’s plan. Like Elizabeth, sometimes we are going to have to stand up to what we know is right, even if we receive pressure from outside sources. Like Zechariah, we might have to rely on others to help us follow God. God has called each of us by name! He has a plan for each and every one of His children!
In these last, often hectic, days before Christmas, can you find some time to spend alone with God?
No matter how many times you have heard the Christmas readings, listen anew this year! What might God be trying to tell you?
Sr. Jennifer Marie Zimmerman, SND