Luke / Chapter 1:
Saint Luke is a Physician that St. Paul recruits to the call of Jesus. You would think that some of the more high-society folks of the times would pay attention to the 4th Gospel that had a more well-respected author – certainly more noble than a tax collector, a fisherman, and a tent maker?! Luke’s Gospel goes right to the start of it all when an unexpected Visitor, the Angel Gabriel, visits both Zacharias, the future Father of John the Baptist, and then Mary, the future Mother of Jesus. While Zacharias is more argumentative with Gabriel (and pays the price with losing his voice), Mary is more anxious, but open to the Will of the Lord. Regardless, neither of them asked for this Visitor. They were Chosen by God. John the Baptist would make ready the path for the Lord and Jesus would bring the realization to the entirety of the Bible story save his 2nd coming. Mary said yes. Her “yes” compromised everything that she knew. At roughly 14 years of age, she agreed to accept God’s seed in her womb while being engaged to Joseph. She could be stoned to death for this and was certainly disregarded in her village and social circles. As a devout Jewish woman, she knew that her Son would be wounded and killed for our transgressions. Zacharias, another devout Jew, would have known what was done to so many of the Jewish Prophets and the dangers that his Son would incur. I am reminded of the Disney movie, “Beauty and the Beast”, in which a prince “shoo’s-away” a haggard beggar woman at his doorstep only to learn that he has refused a beautiful fairy princess who then casts a spell on both him and his castle with its staff. It’s an analogy for the Israelites revolting against God via Moses after only 40 years in the wilderness – they should have known better since it was only 40 years after they walked through a “parted” Red Sea. But, like us, it’s tough to stay devout with the distractions and challenges of this world. God exiled them and their descendants to Babylon. It’s hard sometimes when God sends an unexpected visitor. It’s said that we should be cautious of who we “shoo-away” and who we welcome in – as in Hebrews 13:2, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.” Sounds like Gabriel sure gets around?
- How is God calling us today?
- Who are some of the unexpected visitors in your life?