Zechariah is one of the “minor” prophets of the Old Testament. The fourteen chapters of this little book were written six centuries before Christ, and their theme can be summarised in one of the most often quoted verses from the book: “not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit.” Zech 4:5
An even simpler way of summarising the message of the prophet Zechariah is in the meaning of his name. Zechariah means “God remembers”.
In the midst of the suffering and persecution being experienced by the people at that time, and the fear that they were not out of the woods yet, The prophet, remembering God, has the vision which is today’s first reading:
“Raising my eyes, I saw a vision. It was this: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked him, ‘Where are you going?’ He said, ‘To measure Jerusalem, to find out her breadth and her length.’ And then, while the angel who was talking to me stood still, another angel came forward to meet him. He said to him, ‘Run, and tell that young man this, “Jerusalem is to remain unwalled, because of the great number of men and cattle there will be in her. But I – it is the Lord who speaks – I will be a wall of fire for her all round her, and I will be her glory in the midst of her.”’
This was not what the people wanted to hear. Surely when under persecution and living in fear it is wise to build walls?
No. There is no need for the city of God to be walled since God is the ultimate protector, our wall of fire, and our glory.
Perhaps you are feeling a bit battered or fearful today. Take courage and comfort remembering that God is remembering you and protecting you.
As we pray in the responsory following the first reading today:
The Lord will guard us, as a shepherd guards his flock.
A preview…with a request
These daily Lockdown reflections will conclude today. On Friday 1 October I will offer brief daily reflections on the Rosary (October is remembered as the “Month of the Rosary”) as an ecumenical prayer, taking one set of the four Mysteries each week. We often think of the Rosary as a bit of an old-fashioned prayer, but I will present the Rosary as an active engagement with central events in the life of Jesus and his disciples. On Sunday of each week I will introduce the Mystery (Joyful, Luminous, Sorrowful, Glorious) and Monday – Friday of that week we will reflect on each of the five decades. It is an ambitious project, but I sense the opportunity for a step in faith for Food For Faith here. More information tomorrow (Sunday) with info on how you can sign up to receive these daily October reflections and accompanying Rosary podcast.
Until then here’s how you can help: I need recordings of your household, your family, school group, friends, prayer group, praying one decade of the Rosary – beginning with Our Father, the ten Hail Marys, Glory Be and concluding with O My Jesus… That’s all. Note there needs to be at least two of you to get the alternation of voices in the two parts of the Our Father, Hail Mary and Glory Be. I’d love to have a diversity of people, groups, ages etc to use for the project. So could you in the next two or three days make a recording on your phone and send to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to attach a photo of your group if you would like to but that is not essential. I appreciate your help with this.