Reflection on the Daily Readings for 9/28/09 by Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM
Scripture: Lectionary # 455. Mon. of 26th week. Zechariah 8:1-8. Psaaolm
102:16-18.19-21.29.22-23. Luke 9:46-50:
Through bible study we learn that the prophets most important mission is to
speak the authentic word of God so that those who hearing it may do God’s
will. The side effect of predicting is secondary in a prophetic calling.
There is a formula that alerts us to the prophetic proclamation coming
directly from God: “Thus speaks the Lord our God.” We see it here in the
eighth prophecy of Zechariah (Zech.8:1-8): “Thus says the Lord of hosts…”
God through Zechariah is telling the remnant of Israel that Jerusalem, that
is, Zion will be rebuilt and furbished into its former glory and beauty.
The elderly will gather with others at the city gates and socialize, while
young boys and girls will play in the squares and streets. Joy and singing
and dancing will enliven the atmosphere in and around the holy city.
Though this seems like a dream and impossible to realize humanly,
nevertheless, with God all things are possible; nothing is impossible.
Psalm 126 seizes the prophecy so well and the reaction of the remnant of
people returning to rebuild the Temple and the city: “When the Lord
delivered Zion from bondage, it seemed like a dream. Then was our mouth
filled with laughter, on our lips there were songs.”
A verse from a responsorial psalm joins in with Zechariah’s enouraging
message: “The Lord will build up Zion again and appear in all his glory.”
Many of the psalms in the Night Prayer (Compline) of the liturgy of the
hours are from the time that this prophecy of Zechariah is being realized
and are worthwhile meditating upon in the light of today’s first reading.
We as Christians understand the prophecy of Zechariah in the perspective
and faith statement that is the messiahship of Jesus, the son of Mary. For
example, in Mark 14:27 and Zech.13:7; Matthew 27:9 and Zech. 11:12-13; John
19:37 and Zech. 12:10 and John 12:15:9:9. Moreover, in the Jewish use of
the texts a future messianic age is envisioned but not connected with Jesus
of Nazareth. Both Catholic and Jewish liturgy make use of Zechariah. The
Jewish liturgical text of Succoth (Harvest Festival of Tents) and Hunukkah
(Festival Lights and Temple restoration) make the prophecy of Zechariah
come alive in our churches and synagogues. We may wish to read this
encouraging prophet during Autumn. Amen.