Monday of the Twenty-SixthWeek in Ordinary Time
The church of Jerusalem
This word of the Lord of hosts came … Thus says the Lord: I will return to Zion, and I will dwell within Jerusalem; Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city … Old men and old women, each with staff in hand because of old age, shall again sit in the streets of Jerusalem. The city shall be filled with boys and girls playing in her streets. Thus says the Lordof hosts: Even if this should seem impossible in the eyes of the remnant of this people, shall it in those days be impossible in my eyes also …, Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun, and from the land of the setting sun. I will bring them back to dwell within Jerusalem. They shall be my people, and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice. Zec 8,1-8
We are around 520 B.C. The mission of the prophet Zechariah is aimed to revive the veterans of the exile in Babylon, reassuring them on the benevolence of the Lord. The temple has already been rebuilt, but the people do not see the signs of the God’s blessing on the great work done, which instead they were expecting. Then, in the today passage, Zaccaria has, for the disheartened people, words of consolation, announcing a series of messianic visions on the future life of Jerusalem: “Jerusalem shall be called the faithful city…. Old men and women shall again sit in the streets. The city shall be filled with boys and girls”. It is the vision of a peaceful Jerusalem, without tensions, pacified. It is not an apocalyptic scene, because the prophecy refers to a situation which shall have to occur in the history: “Lo, they shall be my my people and I will be their God, with faithfulness and justice”. If, upon reading this passage of Zechariah, we think of the history of Jerusalem over the centuries, we must agree that this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled. Nowadays, the ”city” is contended among the christian, jewish and islamic religions and politically it lives a war, a little cold and a bit hot between Israel and the Palestinians. It is a powder-magazine. However, if the today’s Zechariah’s prophecy is the word of God, it will come a day when the older people will sit together to converse in the streets, while the youths will play thereby each other. This can only happen if the jewish people will convert to the christianity and if the three religions will recognize themselves in the same monotheistic God of Jesus Christ. At that point, the Vatican will move and the church of Jerusalem will be born. It is a dream, but nothing is impossible for God.