Hope in a hopeless place- Tuesday, 26th week in ordinary time- Zechariah 8:20-23
The book of Zechariah captures the effort of Zechariah, the prophet and his struggle to restore a dispirited community into action. The first batch of people had come back to Jerusalem after a long exile in Babylon with great expectation of a glorious future. The reality however was quite different. The city of Jerusalem was decimated; its population was poor and struggling to survive. This was not the only challenge as there was the emotional loss to be dealt with. Most of those who returned still had their relatives in exile and separation was a hard reality to deal with. In all of this, Zechariah writes to communicate God’s promise of a convent resorted.
Chapter eight contains of promises for the future. Zechariah wanted to present a positive vision for the people. This vision had to encompass the entire community; from the older folk sitting in the streets to the children playing.
Why so? Many families with young children would not have risked the arduous journey back to Jerusalem from the Babylonian exile. They chose rather to stay back in Babylon, in the land of exile. Also among those who stayed back, sickness and poverty had taken its toll. Hence the vision of Jerusalem with its happy children was intended to create a positive vision for the future of the community.
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