Just recently the Church celebrated its liturgy using the texts from the book of Zephaniah, which makes wonderful sense in light of its Messianic overtones.
“Rejoice daughter Jerusalem; do not be afraid; the Lord is in your midst” etc.
But I wonder how many of us now know what seems to have been common knowledge in years past,
…that this Old Testament prophecy was played out in its full with the young virgin, Mary of Nazareth.
That’s what the angel Gabriel said to Mary when he greeted her.
But what does that mean?
Well it means Greetings, yes of course, which is what the Latin Ave Maria tried to make plain,
…but do not forget that the Greek Xaire at its root means, Rejoice!
So “rejoice one who is full of grace…the Lord is with you…do not be afraid.”
That’s what Gabriel said to Mary, and it sounds very familiar now doesn’t it?
And it should, because the angel imitates the language of Zephaniah beautifully.
Come Christmas, the Lord is indeed among His people, fulfilling a prophecy long foretold not in some vague and wandering sense, but clearly and distinctly.
You see, the book of Zephaniah told us He was coming;
…and Gabriel assures us in unmistakable language;
…language that the Israelite would understand;
…God is coming.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
in Christ, patrick