Scripture: Lectionary 455. Monday Sept.30. Zechariah 8:1-8. Psalm 102:16-18,19-21,29.23. Luke 9:46-50:
We have been listening to the Minor Prophets these past few days and continue with them. Zechariah is featured today. Haggai and Malachi are the triad of the last prophets. Zechariah emphasizes the Mosaic covenant with God and Israel, he stirs up enthusiasm for the rebuilding of the Temple on Mount Zion, and focus on the eschatological figure of the Messiah who will bring peace, joy, and security to the people under the leadership of someone likened to David, the greatest of Israel’s kings and the blessed one form whose lineage the Messiah will spring.
In the New Testament the prophet Zechariah will be cited in the Gospels and especially in the Apocalypse (Revelation) where the theme of Zion/Jerusalem closes the final book of the New Testament with an image of the Church as a Bride descending from the heavens upon the new Jerusalem (Zion) where the Messiah will be seen as the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world and is victorious over all evil, sin, and death. In Mark, Matthew and John there are citations from Zechariah and the image of Jerusalem and Mount Zion. We have seen how in Catholic Tradition this image is applied to Mary the Mother of Jesus, the Messiah.
Zion continues to be a theme in Zechariah and in the Psalms. It is the holy mount that David captured and built his capital upon (Jerusalem). Hope, victory, and holiness are symbolized by the Temple theme on Mount Zion.The Messianic era will be one in which children will play freely in the streets and the older folk will watch them as they play. Peace will reign over Israel and Jerusalem.
Our Psalm 102 celebrates in song Zion and the Temple. It has a joyful message of lasting hope and is as positive as Zechariah’s prophetic words about Zion.
In the Gospel Jesus presents a child before the ambitious disciples who yearn for lording it over one another and want to know who is the greatest among them. In the spiritual realm leadership is not a control or power position but one similar to a child who loves God and is trustful, simple, and honest in word and deed. The image of servant leadership emerges from the example that Jesus puts before his disciples. The wonder of a child overcomes aspirations of power and arrogant behavior. The child knows and love the one who has received him or her into the arms of Jesus for a blessing. We should do the same when we think we are important and want to lead others with our own authority and a lack of vision. Amen.
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, S.M.