Priest Ioan Bădiliță
I like very much Saint Elisabeth, the mother of the prophet with fire wings. I will tell you why.
Imagine the scene: eight days after the birth of the baby. It is the solemn moment of circumcision and of naming the baby. The neighbours and relatives assault the house of the old parents. It seems to me I hear them: `Shalom Adonai!
What a beautiful and blessed baby! He will be called Zechariah. Yes, indeed, as his father. This is our ancient and holy tradition. We will do as taught by our elders.`
Then Elisabeth burst like a volcano : `No ! His name will be John!
The people remained stunned.
`How is that? Nobody from your folks has this name. Let`s see what his father say. They start to make gestures before him (which means that Zechariah remained not only mute but also deaf.) The fatherly confirmation appears written on a slate: His name is John. The muteness turned into doxology.
Now I will return to the reason why I admire Elisabeth a lot. It is because she annuls the principle: `What will the people say?/This is what people say/This is what the elders taught us/This is the tradition.` Prophet Amos writes: `When the lion roars, who won`t be shaken? And when God commands who has time for what the people would say? What would have meant if Elisabeth had not remained anchored in God`s word, if she had let herself be influenced by relatives and their customs? Probably history would have been different.
Probably I would not have been born either, if you can`t conceive someone`s existence without his name, name which we not only receive, but which we also embody. Therefore, let`s say a categorically NO, like Saint Elisabeth, to the thought to be liked by the people. Then we will feel that our heart will be relieved of all burdens, like Zechariah`s tongue and will begin to leap up in our chest as baby John in the presence of his Cousin in Mary`s womb!