BEYOND THE POSTEXILIC STATE

Saturday 26th September – Saturday of week 25 of the year

Reflection: Zechariah 2:1-5, 10-11

BEYOND THE POSTEXILIC STATE

Like Haggai, Zechariah took part in the “restoration” of God’s people and the Temple when the Jews returned from Babylon. In the postexilic period, Judah was trying to regain its stance and was plagued by the ruins of the past. The Jews planned to build walls around Jerusalem to prevent it from being ravaged again by their captors. Through Zechariah, God told the Jews, “I will be a wall of fire for her all round her, and I will be her glory in the midst of her.” (Zech 2:5).

Many of us find ourselves are plagued by certain sins. We confess the same sin at the confessional almost every time and yet give in to same temptations almost immediately. Sin holds us captive and exiled from God. When we acknowledge and confess our sins, we enter the postexilic state. In this state, we are most vulnerable and the forces that take the final control are largely product of our choices. It is good that we confess and do our penance, but that’s just the beginning of our victory over sin. To prevent us from being ravaged by sin and corruption again, we must listen to the voice of God as addressed to the Jews in their postexilic period.

First, is to build the Temple of the Lord – The Temple is the place of communication between God and man, and where God dwells. Prayer is our own place of communication with God. Thus, our first step to prevent further ruin is through prayer and meditation on God’s word. We need to pray for grace to overcome. No one wins the battle without prayer. Next, we must make conscious efforts at defense – The Jews decided to build a physical wall around Jerusalem. Like the Jews, we need to make a conscious and firm decision to avoid occasions that can make us fall. Is it the movies that we watch, magazines and novels that we read or parties that we attend? Is it the friends that we keep or our desire to belong? Is it our lack of patience and understanding or failure to bear gently with other faults? Is it our laziness or idleness?

When we make a conscious efforts to build a wall of defense for ourselves by avoiding occasions of sin, God will build a super-wall for us to help overcome them. God is ready to help us, but we must first stretch out our hands for help.

PRAYER: In all my temptations and weaknesses, Lord help me to always have recourse in you and help me daily make a choice for you. Amen.

KNOW YOUR FAITH: YOUCAT 229What prepares a person for repentance?

The insight into one’s personal guilt produces a longing to better oneself; this is called contrition. We arrive at contrition when we see the contradiction between God’s love and our sin. Then we are full of sorrow for our sins; we resolve to change our life and place all our hope in God’s help.

HIDE A TREASURE: “Sin will not lord it over you again, for you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14 RSV-CE

Today’s Readings: Zechariah 2:1-5, 10-11; Jeremiah 31:10-13(Canticle); Luke 9:43-45

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