What, then, will this child be?

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The WORD in other words by Fr. Carlos Macatangga, SVD (Toronto, Canada)

December 23 / Octave before Christmas

Photo: Wall painting at Holy Family Parish in Kinshasa, Congo

What, then, will this child be?  This must be the same question parents of a newborn ask themselves as they look lovingly on their child. In war-torn countries where the future looks bleak, parents probably ask the same question with fear and trepidation. For single parents who have no one to help them raise their child, the same question must bother them too.

I do not know the answer.  On our own, we provide whatever is humanly possible for the child, but it may not be enough. We will still be afraid and anxious. However, with God, we know that nothing is impossible; God’s will is the salvation of all. This is what Christmas is all about: the WORD becoming FLESH to dwell among us, to walk with us, to celebrate with us, to take care of us, and to suffer with us.

The gospel today reminds us of the responses of both Elizabeth and Zechariah to the action of God in their lives. What was humanly impossible (Elizabeth being barren can’t bear a child) became possible with God’s grace. The couple showed their gratitude to God for answering their prayer by naming their child JOHN (God is gracious). Yes, nobody knew what the child would be, but Elizabeth and Zechariah placed their complete trust in God.

It’s two days before Christmas.  Let us follow the example of this couple by showing God our gratitude for his generous love for each one of us. We place our complete trust in him.

So, parents and guardians, the next time you raise the question, “what will this child be?”  there is only one answer: This child will be a child of God, His beloved.

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