Just hours before we approach the Crib, God speaks to us a liberating word.

God needs my YES – AND — if it is not yet a perfect YES, I am not disqualified.

The Archangel Gabriel didn’t get as faith-filled reception from Zechariah as he did from Mary. Zechariah wanted an explanation from God and his disbelief had its consequences: he was silenced.

However, the story doesn’t stop there: When Zechariah confirmed his son’s name was John, his tongue was loosed and from the depths of his heart sprang an anointed song of praise: “Blessed be the Lord Who has come to His people and set them free.” It is a song that the Church now places on our lips every morning when we pray Morning Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. When we repent we are given a fresh beginning. DAILY.

Zechariah’s disbelief had its consequences, but it thwarted neither God’s plan nor Zechariah’s destiny, did it?

We are only weak humans who seek to be fully surrendered to Our Lord. That is all we are and all we ever will be.

Our YES is often not yet as open as Mary’s, but God can do the very same with our incomplete YES as He does with the YES of Mary. Zechariah witnesses to this.

God can do this because we are baptized into His Beloved Son and our imperfect YES is now caught up into the PERFECT YES of the Son.

With great freedom, let us humbly approach the Crib tonight, allowing the Spirit to breathe His song of praise into our often faltering hearts, hearts that are truly beloved to the Father.