A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Monday, September 28, 2009

"From the land of the rising sun..."

Today’s readings are for the Monday of the 26th Week in Ordinary time – not specially chosen for the memorials celebrated on the 28th of September (which, of course, falls on different days and different weeks from year to year).

Yet it is a striking coincidence that on a day when the Church memorializes some who suffered death for their Christian faith in Japan, the first reading (Zechariah 8:1-8) says this:

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
Lo, I will rescue my people from the land of the rising sun...

The explicit reference of the prophecy, of course, is not the national symbol of Japan, but rather part of an idiomatic expression (much like “from the four corners of the world”).

The primary message is that God will reunite His scattered people, restoring their relationship with Him in the Holy City of Jerusalem.

It is also a message for us in our own spiritual lives: lives that sometimes feel scattered, empty, and perhaps even irreparable.

The restorative powers of God are truly infinite: able to turn our short-term failures into good things that age well, our daily drudgery into hope and joy, our scattered spiritual lives into a deeply peaceful life centered on Him.

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
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 its streets.

Thus says the LORD of 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,
says the LORD of hosts?

Thus says the LORD of hosts:
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.