Capsule for the Day
"His name is John", that was first a surprise to the family and friends of the biblical Zachariah and Elizabeth. Why the name John? It is typical Jewish tradition. A name normally reveals the mission of a person. Zachariah's name reveals "God remembered". He remembers His promises and people like Zachariah who are faithful.
And Zachariah lived to be a sign of God's remembering and keeping His promise. That mission was accomplished with the annunciation of the birth of John. So, another mission had to begin, which means a new name had to be given - John (God is gracious). He is indeed gracious in reuniting the Israelites. He is gracious in sending the Saviour.
John's mission is to make God's graciousness known by pointing us to the Saviour. He was the voice echoing the Gracious Word. His name, His mission. So, it is with our names. There is a mission embedded in our names. Like John, the mission becomes clearer when we go to the "wilderness" and seek the Giver of the mission - God.
Fr. Francis Afu