People say we have two ears to make us hear more and only one mouth to let us speak less. Funny it may seem but most of the time it is true. But in reality, the opposite is true.

Ordinarily, we would rather talk and talk than listen. Perhaps it is not because we do not want to listen but rather we would like to speak out what is in our mind. In that way we become more engaged, more relevant, and somehow more helpful.

But sometimes, it is also more pleasant and calming to just close our mouth and listen. I guess there is no better exercise in closing our mouth these days than putting on the face masks and face shields (in some countries where covid is really high). The face mask culture has trained most of us to speak less and just observe with our eyes, nod with our head, shake our heads for a no, do sign language, or use our pointing fingers to put emphasis in what we want to express.

Listening is difficult when it is part of our human nature to get involved. We want to participate in discussions, in arguments, in heated debates, or even in gossips. It is just like the ants that meet while doing their daily chores of gathering food.They have to stop for a moment or two to chat with the co-worker ants.

I was like the ants, too. I love to chat and talk to anyone I meet. Then this pandemic protocol changed the way we did things. I experienced calmness in just using my eyes and ears. Yes indeed, there is joy in keeping quiet for long hours and just listen.

Zechariah, the father of John The Baptist, was used to listening. Otherwise, he may not have heard the soft voice of the Angel. Unfortunately, he did not believe in what he heard from the Angel; And so he was gagged. People presumed that he may have seen a vision.

There are many things that we need not say. But there are also things that we have to share; especially those that could cheer others and help them appreciate their lives. We may be gagged at times. But when the right time comes, we can open our mouths and speak. Zechariah regained his voice at the right time; to announce the name of his new born son: John.

So we can be gagged in the spirit of sacrifice and we can be un-gagged to bring about social justice.