Gospel – December 24, 2019 – Luke 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.”
The Benedictus is a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving by Zechariah at the circumcision of his son John.
Today, it takes on a whole new meaning when I pray it. Today it is a prayer of thanksgiving by me for having had my father for almost 64 years. Today he left me on this final day of Advent. Our final day of preparation for the coming of the Christ Child.
I was prepared for his departure but I was not ready. I don’t think I would ever have been ready.
I am who I am because he loved me. He never gave up on me. He never allowed me to “settle”. But now for the first time I’m fatherless but not without my father. He is in everything I do and everything I think. Over these last years I see me becoming more him than me.
He was my hero like most dads are. He was my best of friends. He was the guy I turned to when things got out of control. He was always my biggest supporter.
My great Peace comes from his reunion with my mother, my sisters – Brenda, Bridgette and Carrie – and all his family who’ve gone before.
I won’t pretend he was perfect in the eye of the world – he didn’t need to be – he was perfect to me.
That is my reflection for today. About the greatest and best man I ever knew. I will always remember him in the beautiful song of thanksgiving I pray daily – the Benedictus.
Thank you Pop for everything I am and am yet to be. I’ll see you soon.
At least that’s what I heard Him say…