A holy fear came on all in the neighborhood, and throughout the hill country of Judea the people talked about these events. All who heard of it, pondered in their minds, and wondered, “What will this child be?“ For they understood that the hand of the Lord was with him.
Luke often ends a story in his gospel with a question. St. Luke, far from just narrating the events that he remembered about Jesus, wrote his gospel to evoke faith in his audience. He wanted that his stories would trigger their minds and make them aware of God‘s presence in their lives, move their hearts and to profess faith in God. In fact, his methodology is to lead his listeners to prayer.
Going back to the gospel narrative, when Luke poses the questions “What will this child be,“ he wants his listeners to realize that God was present in what they saw; that God is present and working in the life of St. John. The unusual circumstances surrounding his birth made it clear that the hand of the Lord was upon him.
This brings us to the main point of today‘s gospel. To question then is not something that we should avoid or refrain from doing. Questioning is something to be encouraged because it is the beginning of one‘s awareness of things around him, of self discovery and of things outside him. But more than that, questioning our faith, that is, questioning God, is in fact a form of prayer.
Cardinal Tagle, in a recent interview clarified this when he said, there is nothing wrong about questioning God, there is nothing bad about questioning him why this happened to us? Why my son died, why him? Because when done with love, it can be a form of prayer. Let us learn from what the people in today‘s gospel did after they asked the question “what will this child be?“-“They keep everything in their hearts. “May we also keep the message of Christmas in our heart..