Day 269: The Day of Small Things

Ezra 5:1-17 With the encouragement of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, work resumed on the Temple under the new king, Darius of Persia. When the provincial governor confronted the Jews regarding the construction, the Jews explained that permission had been given by Cyrus years before and that the project had not been completed. The matter was then referred to Darius.

Ch 6:1-22 Darius found documentation of Cyrus’ permission to build the Temple and ordered that it might continue unhindered. The Second Temple was completed and dedicated, and a joyful Passover and Feast of the Unleavened Bread were celebrated once again in Jerusalem, and these restored feasts remained central to the Jewish religious calendar. These religious ceremonies are a type of the celebration of the Eucharist in the New Covenant (TYPOLOGY!!). (CCC 1334)

Zechariah 4:1-14 Olive trees represent peace, but here they also symbolize Zerubbabel, the Governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest, who was anointed with oil derived from olives. The golden lampstand represents the Chosen People, and the seven lamps represent the Lord. The gradual restoration of the Temple and of Judah brought increasing joy and peace.

Ch 4:14 Anointed: The ritual of anointing with oil was often used to consecrate a person to God for a sacred mission, particularly for kings, priests, and occasionally prophets. Jesus himself received an anointing from the Holy Spirit (cf. Lk 4:16-21) that gave him the fullness of kingship, priesthood, and prophecy; the Church anointing is used in several Sacraments: Baptism, Holy Orders, Confirmation, and Anointing of the Sick. (CCC 436)

Ch 5:1-4 The repentance and conversion of the Jewish people after returning from exile would lead to a pronounced level of holiness. The Law, represented by the huge scroll, separated sinners-exemplified here by a thief and a liar-from the community as a way of maintaining the moral integrity of the people. (CCC 2013-2015)

Ch 5:5-11 An ephah is a volume measure of around twenty liters, but in this particular ephah was large enough for a woman to fit inside. This woman represented an unfaithful Israel, and her inability to emerge from the ephah indicated God’s effort to keep sin in check. 

Ch 6:1-8 In this eighth vision, chariots arrive to wage war on Judah’s enemies. The reference to the north country points to Babylon, whose defeat at the hands of the Persians allowed the exiled Jews to return to rebuild Judah.

Ch 6:9-15 In this oracle, it may not be immediately clear why Joshua, the high priest, was called “the Branch,” as he himself was not a descendant of David. Zerubbabel, a holy man, was Governor of Judah and the leading authority at that time. (CCC 436)

Proverbs 20:9 This verse about everyone being afflicted by sin is corroborated by John’s: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us” (1 Jn 1:8). Paul reinforced this teaching: “None is righteous, no, not one” (Rom 3:9; cf. Ps 14:3). (CCC 401-402, 431)

(*The Didache Bible RSV-CE Ignatius Edition, 2006)

The Temple Rebuilt and Dedicated

The Temple and the Senses of Scripture

(Walking With God: A Journey Through The Bible by Tim Gray and Jeff Cavins)

Prayer by Fr. Mike: “Father in Heaven we give you praise and glory. Thank you so much for this day. Thank you for once again speaking to us through the prophet Zechariah as well as revealing to us your plan and your will through the writings of Ezra. We thank you and we give you...just give you our thanks, yeah we thank you and give you our thanks to be redundant. Because you are a good God and this day, every day we want to begin the day with praise. We want to begin our prayer whenever we approach you to let Judah go up first, to let praise go up first. Whether we are praying these words and letting your words speak to us at the beginning of the day, the middle of the day, or end of the day. No matter what time, Lord God, right now is the time to give you praise. So please, in the name of Jesus Christ your Son, receive our praise, receive our thanksgiving, and receive our very hearts in Jesus’ name. Amen.”