Remember the covenant (Lk 1:72-1:72)

“Thus,

God has shown

The mercy

That he promised

To our ancestors.

He has remembered

His holy covenant.”

 

ποιῆσαι ἔλεος μετὰ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν καὶ μνησθῆναι διαθήκης ἁγίας αὐτοῦ,

 

Luke continued Zechariah’s canticle with an instance on the holy covenant with their ancestors.  Zechariah said that God has shown or fulfilled his mercy or compassion (ποιῆσαι ἔλεος) that he had promised to their ancestors or fathers (μετὰ τῶν πατέρων ἡμῶν).  God has remembered his ancient holy covenant with his people (καὶ μνησθῆναι διαθήκης ἁγίας αὐτοῦ).

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God had helped Israel (Lk 1:54-1:54)

“God

Has helped

His servant!

Israel!

In remembrance

Of his mercy.”

 

ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ παιδὸς αὐτοῦ, μνησθῆναι ἐλέους,

 

This canticle takes on a different tone as there was now an emphasis on Israel, the country.  Luke indicated that Mary said that God had helped Israel (ἀντελάβετο Ἰσραὴλ), his servant or male slave (παιδὸς αὐτοῦ), by remembering his mercy (μνησθῆναι ἐλέους).  Mary was a true daughter of Israel.  She wanted God’s mercy for her country.

Prayer to Yahweh (Hab 3:2-3:2)

“O Yahweh!

I have heard

Of your renown!

O Yahweh!

I stand in awe

At your work!

In your own time,

Revive it!

In your own time,

Make it known!

In wrath,

May you remember mercy.”

This hymn or prayer is clearly addressed to Yahweh.  Habakkuk had heard of the great renown of Yahweh.  He was standing in awe of Yahweh and the works of his hand.  Yahweh would set his own time when he would revive his work.  He would make it know when he wanted to.  Habakkuk wanted Yahweh to remember his mercy whenever he was angry.

Divine appeal (Mic 7:18-7:20)

“Who is a God

Like you?

You pardon iniquity.

You pass over

The transgressions

Of the remnant

Of your possessions.

He does not retain

His anger forever,

Because he delights

In showing clemency.

He will again have compassion

Upon us.

He will tread

Our iniquities

Under foot.

You will cast all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

You will show faithfulness

To Jacob.

You will show

Unswerving loyalty

To Abraham,

As you have sworn

To our ancestors,

From the days of old.”

This Book of Micah ends with this psalm of praise to Yahweh, while asking for his mercy.  There is no other God like Yahweh, who has pardoned iniquity.  He has let go of the transgressions of his people.  His anger was short lived, because he delighted in granting clemency, since he had compassion for them.  He has stamped on and thrown out all their sins.  He has shown faithfulness and loyalty to Jacob and Abraham, just as he did to all their ancestors in the good old days.  Notice the change from the descriptive “he” to the more intimate “you”.

The return of the exiles (Bar 5:5-5:9)

“Arise!

O Jerusalem!

Stand upon the height!

Look toward the east! See your children

Gathered from the west,

Gathered from the east, At the word

Of the Holy One! They are rejoicing

That God has remembered them. They went out from you

On foot.

They were led away

By their enemies.

But God will bring them

Back to you.

They will be carried in glory

As on a royal throne.

God has ordered

That every high mountain

With the everlasting hills

Will be made low.

The valleys will be filled up

To make level ground.

Thus Israel may walk safely

In the glory of God.

The woods

With every fragrant tree

Have shaded Israel

At God’s command.

God will lead Israel with joy,

In the light of his glory,

With the mercy,

With the righteousness

That comes from him.”

This author concludes this book of Baruch with a call to Jerusalem to arise and stand tall. They were to look to the east to see their children, both from the east and west, returning and rejoicing because God had remembered them. They went out on foot, led away by their captive enemies. However, they would return as if carried in glory on a throne. Every high mountain and hill would be leveled, while the valleys would fill up, to make a level ground so that they could walk safely in the glory of God. The fragrant trees of the woods would shade them. God would lead them with the joy and the light of his glory that comes from his mercy and righteousness.

Deliverance (Sir 51:2-51:4)

“You have been my protector!

You have been my helper!

You have delivered me

From destruction!

You have delivered me

From the trap laid

By a slanderous tongue!

You have delivered me

From lips that utter lies!

In the face of my adversaries

You have been my helper.

In the greatness of your mercy,

In the greatness of your name,

You have delivered me

From grinding teeth

About to devour me.

You have delivered me

From those seeking my life.

You delivered me

From the many troubles

I endured.

You delivered me

From choking fire on every side.

You delivered me

From the midst of the fire

That I had not kindled.”

The Lord was his protector and helper. The Lord delivered him from many different awkward situations. He delivered him from destruction, slanderous traps, lying lips, grinding teeth, those trying to kill him, enduring troubles, fires on every side, and fires that he had not started. All this he did out of the greatness of his mercy and his name.

The repayment of the Lord (Sir 35:22-35:26)

“The Lord will not delay.

Like a warrior,

He will not be patient.

He will crush

The loins of the unmerciful.

He repays vengeance

On the nations.

He will destroy

The multitude of the insolent.

He breaks

The scepters of the unrighteous.

He will repay mortals

According to their deeds.

He will repay the works of all

According to their thoughts.

He will judge

The case of his people.

He will make them rejoice

In his mercy.

His mercy is as welcome

In time of distress,

As clouds of rain

In time of drought.”

According to Sirach, the Lord will not delay in bringing about justice. He will be like a warrior without patience. He will crush the backs of the unmerciful ones. He will take vengeance on the various countries. He will destroy the multitude of insolent people as he will break the scepters of the unrighteous. He will repay mortals according to their deeds and thoughts. He will judge his people so that they will rejoice in his mercy that is like a cloud of rain during a drought. The vengeance of God will come upon the earth.