In today's gospel we have the angle Gabriel coming to Zechariah and announcing the birth of John the Baptist.
John is the other great person in advent. Along with Jesus there is something mysterious about his birth. Like so many men of the Old Testament he and Jesus have divine intervention at their birth.
Like so many of us Zechariah doubts the world of God. For this Zechariah is made dumb until the child is born.
The whole surroundings of the birth of Jesus are mysterious. Perhaps Zechariah is made dumb to stop him talking about all that is going on.
When the Lord works directly in our hearts we should keep quiet until we know what it is he is really trying to teach us. In the silence we have time to think and ponder on what God is doing in our lives.
Elizabeth was not struck dumb. She gave credit to God immediately saying, "the Lord has done this for me" referring to being pregnant after years of no children.
Elizabeth, unlike Zechariah did not need time to think of what was going on. She knew the work of God when she saw it!
image source: onlineministries.creighton.edu