11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
It is fitting that the conception and birth of John was a miracle. Another miracle I believe, is the angel Gabriel appearing to Zechariah to tell him the prophecy of his son’s birth. Both Zechariah, his father, and Elizabeth, his mother, were advanced in age. God needed someone to prepare the way for Jesus. And that someone was John the Baptist.
Thank you, God, for the person of John the Baptist, his mother Elizabeth, and his father Zechariah. These two old people raised a son for the sole purpose preparing the way for Jesus. We are grateful for all the good works of John. Help us to be filled with the Holy Spirit as John was. Amen.