But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son and you shall name him John.”

The story of Zechariah privately offering prayer to God and desiring to have a child reminds me of my own story. My mother told me that she was praying every day at St. Vincent Shrine in Vietnam to have me. A very religious and righteous woman came to my mother during the offering and said, “Don’t worry. Go home. You will have a son. The Lord accepted your prayer.” My mother went home and she conceived me and named me after Saint Vincent on my baptismal day. I was born on May 29th, 1972. You can do the math.

Don’t give up on prayer. Don’t give up on God. Be sincere and trust totally in God, not to get what we want, but to truly free and creative in God’s boundless love. Whatever happens right now that makes you anxious and frustrated, breathe in and look around. You are where you are is not accidental. It is a miracle and a blessing. God will need you to do something big that you’ve never even imagined before. I call that “the Third Possibility.”

Saint John the Baptist is the Third Possibility of hope and joy not just for Zechariah and Elizabeth, but also for the salvation history. He came before Jesus to prepare the way for Jesus. Maybe you have a similar mission: To go and to glorify God by your life.

Reflection question: What are you afraid of the most in your life right now? Will you offer that worry or fear to Jesus today to be truly free and prosperous?