|Alexandria on the map in ancient times|
On Zephaniah 3:14-20 from here and my comments in blue.
Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion, shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!
[...] As far as the deeper meaning of this passage is concerned, it clearly commands Jerusalem to rejoice exceedingly, to be especially glad, to be joyful wholeheartedly as its sins are wiped out through Christ.The spiritual and holy Zion – that is, the Church, the holy multitude of believers – is justified in Christ and only in him.
Only the Church is holy and therefore, if we are with the Church, we have a chance for holiness.
By him and through him we are also saved as we escape from the harm of the invisible enemies, for we have a Mediator who was incarnated in our form, the King of all, who is the Word of God the Father.Thanks to him, we have been delivered from the powers of evil.
If we allow God to purify us, we shall be freed from evil.
The Word of God is the armour of good will, the peace, the wall, the one who bestows incorruption, the arbiter of crowns, who has ended the war of the incorporeal Assyrians and made void the schemes of the demons. Do not fear, O Zion, let not your hands grow weak.
God wants the Church, the new Zion, to be strengthened by the grace of Christ.
[...] We have heard Christ himself renewing this ancient prophecy when he says that,you will have affliction in this world but have confidence, for I have overcome the world.
However, we shall suffer. There is no way around this....
For now he is in our midst as a strong warrior who gives victory we have no excuse to be feeble handed and weak kneed. Now we too can be confident that Christ who is the all-powerful God in our midst can redeem and save those who believe in him.
We must look to Christ and not to men.
For he dwells in our hearts through the Spirit and he has given us a spiritual and worthy joy.Why had the Holy Spirit been given us except in order to be our delight and joy and the grounds of our spiritual happiness?
St. Therese, the Little Flower, expressed that she had "unfelt joy"; we look not for consolation, but for inner peace and confidence in God despite all ills.
When Christ gave us joy through the Holy Spirit he renewed us by his own love. [...] He indeed laid down his own life and was numbered for our sake among the dead. Although by nature he was Life, he returned to life and renewed our nature in newness of life and restored it to its first likeness: if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. For it pleased our God and Father to restore all things in him.
This restoration is real, not merely a cover-up or imputing. We are made new in Christ and the Father restores all things to Christ. We, too, become new creations, if we cooperate with grace.
Therefore Christ gathered together those who had been smashed up by sin, those Satan had torn apart and enfeebled, and, although they didn’t know what was happening, he brought them back to enter the straight paths of the way of justice.
Tomorrow, I begin to look at Cyril of Jerusalem...