Jesus, help me try not to go to one parent for something if I know the other one won’t agree. Amen!

Jesus’ aunt Elizabeth had a baby boy. Everyone thought she’d name him after his father, Zechariah, but she wanted to call him John. Zechariah hadn’t been able to talk for a while, but he wrote down, “His name is John.” Then, suddenly, Zechariah could talk again! Everyone was amazed and decided baby John was blessed by God.

Kids usually know which parent to go to for what problem. Maybe your mother is more likely to say “no” to ice cream, but you know your father loves it and will probably say yes. Maybe your father worries about saving money, so you ask your mother to buy you that sweatshirt at the mall.

Just as often, kids know how to play their parents against each other. “But Dad said yes!” you protest when your mother turns you down. You watch your parents look at each other and argue: “I thought we weren’t going to have ice cream every week.” “But what’s the harm?”

Even in Jesus’ time, families did this. In this week’s Gospel (Luke 1:57-66,80), Elizabeth and Zechariah are about to have a ?baby, and it sounds like there’s a disagreement over what the baby’s name will be. Since Zechariah can’t talk, everyone assumes he’s unhappy with Elizabeth’s choice but can’t say so. The baby seems to be playing his parents against each other, and he isn’t even born yet!

Usually, parents come to an agreement about what’s good for you. Even if they argue, they unite to decide what’s best. Sometimes, when you try to play your parents against each other, you even find out they agreed all along!

That’s what happened with Elizabeth and Zechariah. No one knew they both liked the name “John” for their baby — until Zechariah firmly wrote, “His name is John.” Apparently, God approved, because Zechariah suddenly became able to talk again. It was a miracle.

It’s also a miracle when everyone in any family agrees. But it’s best if kids don’t try to get one parent to do something when you know the other won’t like it!