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St Jerome, Priest, Doctor


St Jerome, Priest, Doctor

Zechariah 2:5-9,14-15
Luke 9:43-45

In Nehemiah 12:16, we see that Zechariah was the leader of a priestly family. (Iddo Meshullam from Ginnethon’s family). He had of the foremost apocalyptic writing during the post-exilic era. Today’s first reading is the third vision of the famous visions of the night upon which God instructed him to tell the remnant of Israel that God will restore Jerusalem and all nations will flow to it. More importantly is the fact that, God will be a wall of fire around it and its glory. This is also an anticipation of the heavenly Jerusalem
In today’s Gospel, as Jesus goes up to Jerusalem together with his disciples, he revealed to them for the second time his passion, and yet they did not understand the messianic knowledge, they were still yet to grasp fully the truth about his mission.

I think the readings are telling us that, when the believer has begun with trembling feet to walk in the way of the Lord, he asks to be still and to be led onward like a little child upheld by its parent’s helping hand, and he craves to be further instructed in the alphabet of truth. By implication, the knowledge of God strengthens our love for God, as well as our faith in him. Knowledge opens the door, and then through that door we see our Saviour. Or, to use another similitude, knowledge paints the portrait of Jesus, and when we see that portrait then we love him, we cannot love a Christ whom we do not know, at least, in some degree. If we know but little of the excellences of Jesus, what he has done for us, and what he is doing now, we cannot love him much; but the more we know him, the more we shall love him. Like St. Jerome whom the Church celebrates today will say “Ignorance of Scriptures is the ignorance of God”.

In addition, Knowledge strengthens our hope and supplies us reasons for patience. How can we hope for a thing if we do not know of its existence? And
How shall we have patience unless we know something of the compassion of Christ, and understand the good which is to come out of the correction which our heavenly Father brings to us? Nor is there one single grace of the Christian which, under God, will not be fostered and brought to perfection by holy knowledge? How important, then, is it that we should grow not only in grace but in the “knowledge” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ?

Surely, we will be put to test. Our faith will be tried and if it be of the true kind, it will bear continued trial without yielding immediately. However, it is the Spirit’s peculiar office to lead us all into all truth, and all this for the increase and the fostering of our faith then we will not grow weary of waiting upon God if we remember how long and how graciously he once waited for us. Through his grace and peace, “the people that do know their God shall be made strong.”Daniel 11:32

Fr Joseph Osho

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