“See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the Lord. Many nations shall join themselves to the Lord on that day, and they shall be his people, and he will dwell among you, and you shall know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to you.” (Zechariah 2:14-15)
The prophet Zechariah reminded his people that, now released from their exiled condition in Babylon, they should return to the land given them by God and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. They had “settled” in Babylon and had lost sight of God’s deliverance and care for them. He reminded them that, though the road back to their homeland would be difficult, God was always with them. They understood the Temple to be the physical dwelling place of God, “The Holy of Holies.” For this reason, Zechariah exhorted them to rebuild this living connection to God.
In the Gospel for today Jesus mentions to His disciples for the second time that he expects to be “delivered into the hands of men.” This Gospel and the reading from Zechariah tell us that helping make the reign of God present here and now includes some tough episodes: exile, the cross, deliverance into the hands of men. At the same time, in faith we know the Spirit lives and moves within us and through us, so we are never completely on our own. That knowing is our “temple.”
To be entrusted with the ongoing mission of Jesus is an honor, which gives us courage even in the tough times. We see this manifest in some of the strong and heroic colleagues among us.