In today's second reading, poor Zachariah gets a one-two punch: first he was doing his duty as priest, burning incense in the sanctuary, when he's terrified by the sudden appearance of an angel. He survives the shock, but then the angel tells him that his wife will bear a son -- and his first response is, "“How shall I know this? For I am an old man, and my wife is advanced in years.”
A reasonable response. They were old; they thought their time had come and gone, and it seemed obvious that God was going to allow them to remain in the "disgrace" of being childless. But the angel answers,
“I am Gabriel, who stand before God.
I was sent to speak to you and to announce to you this...READ MORE