Day 2 - Conversion

A sign which says Welcome, Come in

Day 2 - listen here

 

Luke 1:68, 78-79

‘Blessed is the Lord, the God of Israel,

   for he has looked at his people, and brought about their release….

Through the compassionate heart of our God,

   by which he will visit us, the risen sun from on high,

to appear to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,

   to straighten our feet into the way of peace.

Reflection

These verses are from the Canticle of Zechariah, the Benedictus. At the beginning of the canticle and again at the end, the idea of “visitation” appears: “[God] has looked at [visited] his people, and brought about their release” and “he will visit us, the risen sun from on high.” By setting the canticle within this framework, Luke seems to suggest that the rich biblical idea of “visitation” best describes what God is about to do through the ministry of John the Baptist and Jesus.

While “visitation” can imply judgement, for the most part in the biblical tradition God “visits” his people to save them. The question is: How will the visit be received? Who will be hospitable to this visit and find salvation? Who will not? These are key questions in Luke’s Gospel. On the one hand, “All the tax collectors and sinners wanted to listen to him. And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled ‘this fellow gives hospitality to sinners - and eats with them!’” (Lk 15:2); while Zacchaeus will welcome Jesus into his home and Jesus will rejoice, “Today salvation has come to this house” (Lk 19:9). Am I open to God’s visitation today?

A manuscript from Ethiopa showing the Annunciation to Zechariah

Prayer

Come, let us sing joyfully to the Lord;

let us cry aloud to God our Saviour.

Let us come before his face with thanksgiving;

​and with psalms let us cry aloud to him.

For the Lord is a great God, and a great king over all the gods;

For in his hands are the ends of the earth,

and the heights of the mountains are his.

For the sea is his – he made it; and his hands fashioned the dry land...

Today if you would hear his voice,

do not harden your hearts…       
 

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