Zechariah said to the angel, “How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.” And the angel said to him in reply, “I am Gabriel, who stand before God. I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this good news. But now you will be speechless and unable to talk until the day these things take place, because you did not believe my words, which will be fulfilled at their proper time.”
Yesterday, I was listening to a secular radio station and I heard a song that was disturbing. I had never heard it before and I did not know who sang it. But while I was listening to this obnoxious, masculine sounding female singer with her annoying lyrics it dawned on me, “Could this possibly be the famous Lady Gaga?” Guess what? I was right.
Some things will never change. Scripture will never change. And yet, it never ceases to surprise and amaze. I am amazed at how superheroes, like Peter and Paul, are called to be Apostles of Jesus Christ and yet still retain their human qualities, human faults and human weaknesses. Peter can be on a pedestal one moment, and then two seconds later knocked off of it. Peter? The first Holy Father! Paul can be inviting the faithful to be “more like him for I imitate Christ” and the next minute pleading with God to take away a pain!
Zechariah was serving as high priest. He was chosen by lot. Mind you, nothing that is, is because of luck or chance. All things happen for a reason; even random things happen for a reason, we just don’t know what it is. A long time ago I got into a debate with a young man who questioned the possibility of God because of random occurring events. I gave him this example to help him see things differently. I told him, “Imagine for a moment you are on the road. It is very common to see cars drive by you from different states. You see one car and its license from the state of New York. You see another, and it’s from the state of California. A few minutes later, you see another, from the state of Oklahoma. Since you cannot predict or formulate what the next license will be, you would tell me that it is random. I would tell you that each car is on the road not for any random reason but for a specific reason that only they know all too well. The problem with the theory of randomness is that it is always measured from the eyes of the observer and never from the eyes of the Beholder!”
Zechariah’s selection was not random. Elizabeth was not random. The fact that he was chosen by lot to be the priest was not random. The reason why we are who we are, and do what we do, and go where we go is not at all random. It is all in the eyes of the Beholder! It is all Providential.
And when we are faced with some pretty heavy providential things, then sometimes the best thing we can do is remain silent.
Zechariah was forced to remain silent. That does not happen often. He must have been throwing a fit.
When we have to come face to face with reality; when our situation has changed; when we find ourselves in conflict with others, then this may very well be one of those moments when we have to step back and just remain silent. Wait and see. Observe all things. But the most important thing we can learn from all of this is: Remain faithful to God. Remain faithful always! His plan is in all of this.