|Zechariah by James Tissot|
Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)
67 And his father Zechari′ah was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied, saying,
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has visited and redeemed his people,
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation[a] for us in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath which he swore to our father Abraham,
74 to grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve him without fear,
75 in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 through the tender mercy of our God, when the day shall dawn upon[b] us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”
Cited in the Catechism: In promulgating the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Blessed John Paul II explained that the Catechism “is a statement of the Church’s faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church’s Magisterium.” He went on to “declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion” (Fidei Depositum). Passages from this Gospel reading are cited in the Catechism, paragraph 422, 523, 706, 717 and 718.
1:67. Zechariah, who was a righteous man (cf. v. 6), received the special grace of prophecy when his son was born—a gift which led him to pronounce his canticle, called the Benedictus, a prayer so full of faith, reverence and piety that the Church has laid it down to be said daily in the Liturgy of the Hours. Prophecy has not only to do with foretelling future events; it also means being moved by the Holy Spirit to praise God. Both aspects of prophecy are to be found in the Benedictus.
1:68–79. Two parts can be discerned in the Benedictus: in the first (vv. 68–75) Zechariah thanks God for sending the Messiah, the Saviour, as he promised the patriarchs and prophets of Israel. In the second (vv. 76–79) he prophesies that his son will have the mission of being herald of the Most High and precursor of the Messiah, proclaiming God’s mercy which reveals itself in the coming of Christ.
Source: The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries. Biblical text from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.
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“Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ.” St Jerome