A reading from the prophecy of Zephaniah
This Sunday in the church year is called Gaudete Sunday: Gaudete means “rejoice.” We hear the reason for this title throughout this reading: “Shout for joy,” “Sing joyfully,” “Be glad and exult with all your heart.” Why is the prophet Zephaniah saying this to the people of Israel? Because “The Lord, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior.”
Throughout the history of ancient Israel there was the expectation that God would become present among the people and save them from their enemies. We believe that Jesus was and is that presence of God. The promise to Israel and to all peoples has been fulfilled in him.
“Cry out with joy and gladness: for among you is the great and Holy One of Israel.” The Holy One of Israel is, of course, Jesus.