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Thursday, December 19, 2013

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Judges 13:2-7, 24-25
Psalm 71:3-6, 16-17
Luke 1:5-25

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skeptical or well-disposed?

"Zechariah...your prayer has been heard." —Luke 1:13

When God finally answers your deepest prayer after a long period of silence, do you believe it or are you skeptical? Are you a person who is "well-disposed" to the Lord? (Lk 1:17) Or have you just "disposed" of your long-time prayer request, figuring that God said "No" (rather than "Not yet"). When the Lord is silent for years, even decades, do you grow bitter or grow better?

Simeon and Anna waited for the Lord for decades, and when the day came that their long-desired prayers were answered, they were ready (Lk 2:27ff, 38). The Blessed Virgin Mary was ready and well-disposed in docility to the Lord when her moment came (Lk 1:38). Manoah and his wife were likewise ready (Jgs 13:2ff). When God called Abraham, his first response was "Ready!" (Gn 22:1) The Pharisees, Sadducees, and Zechariah were not ready when their prayers were answered even though, as lifetime religious, they were in a prime position to be ready for God.

The way to be ready for God's answered prayer is to be ready every moment of every day. Years of practice of becoming like a little child before God helps us to be ready when He answers, never doubting His saving power and His loving-kindness. That's why God sends babies as answers to prayer (Jgs 13:3; 1 Sm 1:19ff; Lk 1:13). The Lord makes all things new and fresh, and babies make that clear to all.

Each day, "acquire a fresh, spiritual way of thinking" (Eph 4:23). Resist developing a hard, skeptical heart. Let the Infant Jesus "open wide your" heart (2 Cor 6:13).

Prayer:  "You are my hope, O Lord; my trust, O God, from my youth" (Ps 71:5).

Promise:  "Joy and gladness will be yours." —Lk 1:14

Praise:  "O Flower of Jesse's stem, You have been raised up as a Sign for all peoples; kings stand silent in Your presence; the nations bow down in worship before You. Come, let nothing keep You from coming to our aid."

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 17, 2013

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