Sing and rejoice, O daughter of Zion. For I will come and dwell in your midst, says the Lord.
Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day. They shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of you. And you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you. The Lord will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will choose again Jerusalem. Be silent, all people, before the Lord; for he has roused himself from his holy dwelling. (Zech 2:14-17)
At the end of the Old Testament, the Book of the Prophet Zechariah (whose name means: he whom the Lord remembers) addresses the remnant of the Jewish people, in the same period as the prophet Haggai. This book is composed of two parts: the first presents the visions of the prophet and the second gives us a series of oracles.
Zechariah gives a comprehensive overview of human history of man. His words are concerned first with the people of God, but are then extended to all nations. He describes the rejection of the Messiah by Israel and the repentance of his people, and finally the recognition of Christ who comes to establish his kingdom of peace. The return from exile in Bablyon has already taken place, but the true deliverance of Zion is still to come. And this salvation given by God involves an interiority, the presence of the glory of God in the midst of his people.
The restoring of Jerusalem, described in Chapter 2, is both a call to rejoicing and to silence before the grandeur of God. It the joy of the victory, for which the thanks is to God. This recognition of the Almighty brings the people to adoration.
This joyful and exciting announcement of the presence of God in the midst of the people of the covenant is also a source of encouragement. When the people go through a period of doubt and of uncertainty, this can open perspectives which go beyond the expectations of the remnant of Israel. God’s plan is to extend his reign to all the nations and to gather together one people.
Israel becomes in a certain sense the heart of the world. The daughter of Zion must therefore sing for joy, because the Lord has come to live in her midst. It is the fulfilment of the messianic promises that are here announced. As well as the return to the land given to his people, this also concerns the outpouring of the radiance of the glory of the Most High to all places.
This vision of the prophet Zechariah shows, however, that the announcement will contain what will surprise us: a exultant mystery, touched with a spirit of interiority, that will turn the eyes of all the nations to Jerusalem.
It is the victory of God that the people of Israel celebrates in the prophecy of Zechariah. Victory over their enemies, for sure, but, more profoundly, the victory of God in the hearts of his people. This call to interiority for each person is for us to look inside ourselves for the presence of God's within.
This prophecy is connected with the Annunciation of the Lord. The Incarnation is not only a source of the deepest joy to the Virgin Mary, daughter of Zion, but also for all creation. It announces the arrival of the one who comes to save his people, Jesus. In the silence of her heart, in the intimacy of her friendship with God, Mary, by saying Thy Will be Done to the Lord, opens again the door that Eve had closed. The Lord comes to dwell in her and she can go in haste to her cousin Elizabeth and ring our her joy in her great prayer, the Magnificat .
On this day when we celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, these texts remind us of God's intervention in human history. It is indeed the commemoration of a victory, that of Lepanto on October 7, 1571, over the Ottoman military forces in the Mediterranean, which was first celebrated liturgically on the feast of Our Lady of Victory. This battle, whose outcome was undoubtedly a source of joy for the Christian world at the time, should not overshadow the inner battle that is played in each of us, between good and evil.
It is in the heart of each one of us that the true victory is brought about, in allowing God to dwell in us.
Lord, thou have made your dwelling in Mary, the daughter of Zion. Give us the joy of knowing what it is to receive you as she did. By meditating on the Holy Rosary, may she teach us to know you at every moment of our lives. You, who knows our weaknesses, support us in the struggle of life and give us your victory. We ask this through our Lord and God, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.
God, grant us salvation ! God, grant us the Victory!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!