MEMORIAL OF SAINT JEROME, PRIEST AND DOCTOR OF THE CHURCH
Zechariah 2: 5-9, 14-15a
I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked:
there was a man with a measuring line in his hand.
I asked, "Where are you going?"
He answered, "To measure Jerusalem,
to see how great is its width and how great its length."
Then the angel who spoke with me advanced,
and another angel came out to meet him and said to him,
"Run, tell this to that young man:
People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country,
because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst.
But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD,
and I will be the glory in her midst."
Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion!
See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day,
and they shall be his people and he will dwell among you.
Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, and declare it in the coastlands far away; say, “He who scattered Israel will gather him, and will keep him as a shepherd a flock.” For the Lord has ransomed Jacob, and has redeemed him from hands too strong for him. They shall come and sing aloud on the height of Zion, and they shall be radiant over the goodness of the Lord, over the grain, the wine, and the oil, and over the young of the flock and the herd; their life shall become like a watered garden, and they shall never languish again. Then shall the young women rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old shall be merry. I will turn their mourning into joy, I will comfort them, and give them gladness for sorrow.
And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, “Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying.
In today’s scriptures, we see God’s plan for gathering his people to himself. In the first two readings, we see how God is going to encircle them, dwell among them, and keep them as a Shepherd a flock. Then, in the gospel, Jesus says how he is going to be betrayed into human hands. The way God ransoms his people, and gathers them to himself, is by sending Jesus into the world to die for the sins of humanity. The way he gathers up into his hands is by having human hands betray his Son.
Today, meditate on the love and mercy of God. In the scriptures, we see God’s enthusiasm for gathering his people to himself. He describes how men and women will rejoice and dance. He did not send his Son to die for us sinners out of hatred, anger, or bitterness for humanity. He did not do it because he was ashamed of us or our sins. He did it out of love for us. He did it because he so dearly desires to be united with you forever in eternity.
Any sense of shame you experience over your sins is not from God but the devil who desires to separate you from the Lord. God himself desires you to come to him and be saved. For this reason, he sent his Son into the world to die for the sins of the world and rise from the dead.
Praise God today for the salvation he offers you through Jesus Christ. Rejoice that you have a God who loves you so much so as to sacrifice everything to be with you.