The Jealous God (Zech. 8:1-8)
- Reading I: Zechariah 8:1-8
- Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 102
- Gospel Reading: Luke 9:46-50
I am Jealous for Zion
Jealousy is used in the Scriptures in both a positive and a negative sense. When jealousyis used as an attribute of God, it is obviously used in a positive sense. Probably themost striking example of the anthropomorphic portrayal of God is in those passages wherehe is said to be jealous. The language is based upon the relationship of husband and wifeand is frequently associated with Israel’s unfaithfulness to God. [More from Bakers’ Dictionary: Jealousy]
God is a jealous God. It is one of His attributes as God of the covenant. In Zechariah 8, God’s jealousy makes Him restore Jerusalem, which will be known as "the faithful city". Two images that Zechariah gives of a Jerusalem that is filled with life and secure in peace is that of old men and women sitting in the streets and playing girls and boys, on the one hand (4-5) and abundant harvests on the other (12).
"Whoever receives a child like this, receives me." The immediate conclusion that one draws from this is the identification of Jesus with those who cannot act on their own. Is this connected to this saying about his ‘betrayal’ into the powers of men? It is seems so, since the nuance of a betrayal, of being handed over to somebody else is that of utter helpless, much similar to that of a child. But there is more: receiving the child, is receiving Jesus; and receiving Jesus, in turn, is receiving the One who sent him.
Power and authority is no longer based on personal strength, but on helplessness. Jesus’ victory is placed within the perspective of his impending betrayal, where he himself will be rendered powerless. To accept an image of helplessness is receiving Jesus even in that moment of helplessness as he is betrayed, something that to men who were probably contemplating a new order where they can be "bosses" should rethink.
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