Zechariah, filled with the Holy Spirit, sang this canticle: “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has come and redeemed his people. In the house of David his servant, he has raised up for us a victorious Savior; as he promised through his prophets of old, salvation from our enemies and from the hand of our foes.
He has shown mercy to our fathers; and remembered his holy Covenant, the oath he swore to Abraham, our father, to deliver us from the enemy, that we might serve him fearlessly, as a holy and righteous people, all the days of our lives.
And you, my child, shall be called Prophet of the Most High, for you shall go before the Lord, to prepare the way for him, and to enable his people to know of their salvation, when he comes to forgive their sins. This is the work of the mercy of our God, who comes from on high, as a rising sun, shining on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, and guiding our feet into the way of peace.”
Zechariah sang the song of praise after regaining his speech on the circumcision day of his son to Elizabeth. They named him John that struck others because no one in their kindred was called by this name (v. 62). The song of praise stresses God’s fidelity to his promise which includes: visiting and redeeming his people (v. 68), raising them the horn of salvation (v. 69), saving them from their enemies’ hands (v. 71), performing mercy and remembering his covenant (v. 72), and granting the oath he swore to Abraham (v. 74). The song’s last part answers v. 66 question: “What then will this child be?” Zechariah prophesied that John will be the Most High’s prophet who will prepare the Messiah’s way (v. 76). He will give people the knowledge in the forgiveness of sins (v. 78), and give them light (v. 79). The song of praise follows Jesus’ birth narrative showing the close connection between John who prepares the way, and Jesus who is the WAY. /Vulnerasti, 2022