Thursday of the Third Week of Advent
(Judges 13:2-7.24-25a; Luke 1:5-25)
We feel for couples who want to have children but remain barren. Often they seem to be the best of people – she, gentle and caring, and he, responsible and understanding. Raising offspring like themselves would not only fulfill their dreams but would also give hope to their neighbors for a nobler society. Why, we ask, does God not grant the continual prayer of such a pair?
Children, however, are not created to satisfy personal and/or social needs but to serve God’s design for justice. In both readings today God grants the barren couples a son to further His purpose of preparing for the coming of Christ. Manoah and his wife will give birth to Samson who will defeat the enemies of the Israelites among whom Jesus will be born. Zechariah and Elizabeth will give birth to John who will announce that the coming of the Christ.