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A reading from the Book of the Prophet Zechariah 2:5-9, 14-15a

I, Zechariah, raised my eyes and looked: there was a man with a measuring line in his hand. I asked, "Where are you going?" He answered, "To measure Jerusalem, to see how great is its width and how great its length." Then the angel who spoke with me advanced, and another angel came out to meet him and said to him, "Run, tell this to that young man: People will live in Jerusalem as though in open country, because of the multitude of men and beasts in her midst. But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst." Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! 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.

REFLECTION: “But I will be for her an encircling wall of fire, says the LORD, and I will be the glory in her midst."

In remembrance of 9-11, the day America suffered terrorist attacks, there was a heart-warming story of the Pentagon’s nursery being evacuated by 40 U.S. Marines. They saw a need to help the nursery workers who could not possibly move all the infants in cribs and toddlers safely by themselves. The Marines jumped into action and brought the cribs with infants and toddlers to a safe area outside the Pentagon. After placing the cribs in a circle, with the toddlers inside the circle, they stationed themselves around the perimeter to keep everyone safe. They made a barrier with no beginning and no end. It was a fortress in its own right, protecting the most vulnerable.

The Lord gives us comfort and protection in his description of how he takes care of his faithful. He is “an encircling wall of fire”. I think of our priests who are on fire as this wall that no evil can penetrate. During mass, I see a priest saying the mass with a divine presence imposed on them. The man disappears into the glory of God and becomes the wall of fire that encircles us.

The Catholic Mass is the time and place of becoming one with the Lord. It is a sacred time to go forth and dwell in the Lord. Let us support our priests in prayer and word for bringing us the Lord and maintaining the “wall of fire”, so God’s glory can continue to be in our midst.

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