December 24, 2019

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; for he has come to his people and set them free.

As we stand on the cusp of Christmas, our gospel reading is the canticle of Zechariah. He praises God because he has redeemed his people (Lk 1: 68) just as he promised by the mouth of his holy prophets from ancient times (Lk 1:70). This salvation is the result, not of our own efforts but rather of the merciful goodness of God, who remembered his holy Covenant and the oath he swore to Abraham, our ancestor (Lk 1:72). God’s faithfulness is the foundation of our security.

Here in the Canticle of Zechariah the first Christian communities sang, the joy of having been visited by the goodness of God in Jesus, in which the ancient promises were fulfilled. This is the great desire of all the people of all times: to live in peace, without fear. For us it also means being able to serve God and neighbor, in holiness and uprightness, all the days of our life.

All these are fruits of the merciful action of the heart of God and were realized with the coming of Jesus: The rising Sun has indeed come from on high to give light to those who live in darkness and the shadow of death and to guide our feet into the way of peace (Lk 1:78-79). These same fruits are also ours when we celebrate the Eucharist. Jesus fills us with his life, and our prayer helps us to interiorize our appreciation for these blessings and render Christ the gratitude that is his due.

How will you experience the goodness of God anew today?

Let Us Pray:

I shall sing of your mercy forever, Lord,
proclaim your faithfulness through all ages.
For you have said: “My mercy is established forever,
my faithfulness will stand as long as the heavens. (Ps 89:1-2)


Daily Eucharistic Reflection – Center for Eucharistic Evangelizing (eucharisticevangelizing.com)


About Paul J. Bernier, SSS

Blessed Sacrament Father Paul J. Bernier served for many years as the editor of Emmanuel. He is a popular writer, preacher, and director of retreats. Among his many published works is Ministry in the Church: A Historical and Pastoral Approach, Second Edition, published by Orbis Books in 2015.