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by Fr. Dmitri, New Zealand
Saturday 16 October 2010 (6 Paapi;6 Babah)
Dionysius the Areopagite, Bishop of Athens
And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in
the earth; lo, there thou hast that is thine.
And Hannah prayed and said: My heart rejoices in the Lord;
my horn is exalted in the Lord, I smile at my enemies,
because I rejoice in Your Salvation.
Have mercy on me, O Lord; for I am weak: O Lord,
heal me; for my bones are vexed.
When He walked this earth, He gave help and health to those
who approached and begged Him for such favors. For He was the good
and only true physician.
If you are poor. He will fill you with His wealth. If you are sick, He will
give you the remedy for your incurable diseases.
(Mystery of Godliness)
Immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went out in the
presence of them all, so that all were amazed and glorified God,
saying, "we never saw anything like this."
Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a right spirit
If God is slow to grant your request and you do not receive
what you ask for promptly, do not be grieved, for you are
not wiser than God.
(Isaac the Syrian)
Look at the choice of Moses the Prophet, and you will see
a marvelous thing. Moses was "slow of speech, and of slow tongue....
not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since Thou hast spoken
unto thy servant" (Ex.4:10) Yet, God chose this 'slow of speech and tongue'
to be the spokesman of God.
(H.H. Shenouda III)
God knows your endeavor and your righteous will, He looks
at your fight, He supports your weakness and He crowns your victory.
God has given to each of us the talents to sow His words and gather
up the fruits of souls. Let us therefore put those talents to work and
not bury them in the ground.
Lord Jesus, grant us the grace to make use of the talents You have
given us. Let us put them to work for the salvation of souls and for
Your eternal glory.
(Catherine of Siena)
From this point forward there is a new note of victory in the prophecies of Zephaniah. The order of the announcement of judgement(1:2-6) is repeated in the order of the revelation of hope.
There is a world-wide vision of redeemed peoples which almost at once concentrates its focus upon the New Jerusalem, wherein a chastened and humble remnant will no longer be troubled by the proudly exultant and haughty, who had bought nothing but trouble and shame to the city.
The pure speech does not mean they will worship God with better Hebrew, but with purer hearts. The divisive curse of Babel will be gone. There is a re-gathering of a Judaist dispersion, which God purposes to bring to Himself out of every nation. These could be the other Sheep of John 10:16. and 'The Children of God who are scattered abroad' of John 11:52. Once more Zephaniah is looking back to the initial "dispersion" of Gen.11:9.
The Lord looks for those who are humble in character and not misfortune. Seek refuge in the name of the Lord. Two further marks of the people of the New Jerusalem are given in Verse 13. There is their new tongue and speech, ever a prime mark of the regenerate.
Verses 14-20 of Chapt.3 shows the Lord in 3 distinct pictures. He is 'King of Israel', pronouncing acquittal over His people and driving out their foes. He is also seen as a 'Warrior' encouraging the spirit of His people and giving victory over their enemies. He will keep them in His love. He is further represented as the 'Bridegroom', who in His love for His Bride, Zion, now proclaims His joy, and then falls into rapt silence.
The Bridegroom is Christ and the Bride is the Remnant Church who have kept the Commandments of God. Zephaniah ends his prophecy with the words.' The Lord has said it.'
To Thee be Glory and Praise, now and ever, unto Ages of Ages.
Evening: Psalm 68:25-26; Matt.26:6-13.
Morning: Psalm 8:2-3; John 4:15-24.
Liturgy: Ephes.5:8-21; 1 Peter 3:5-14; Acts 21:5-14;
Psalm 45:14-15; Gospel Matt.25:1-13.
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