(Zech 2, 14) I am coming to dwell among you
 Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
 Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! See, I am coming to dwell among you, says the LORD.
 Then the angel of the Lord spoke out and said, "O LORD of hosts, how long will you be without mercy for Jerusalem and the cities of Judah that have felt your anger these seventy years?"
 The LORD, your God, is in your midst, a mighty savior; He will rejoice over you with gladness, and renew you in his love, He will sing joyfully because of you,
 Shout for joy, O daughter Zion! sing joyfully, O Israel! Be glad and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!  The LORD has removed the judgment against you, he has turned away your enemies; The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst, you have no further misfortune to fear.
 Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth, who have observed his law; Seek justice, seek humility; perhaps you may be sheltered on the day of the LORD'S anger.
(CCC 711) "Behold, I am doing a new thing" (Isa 43:19). Two prophetic lines were to develop, one leading to the expectation of the Messiah, the other pointing to the announcement of a new Spirit. They converge in the small Remnant, the people of the poor, who await in hope the "consolation of Israel" and "the redemption of Jerusalem" (Cf. Zeph 2:3; Lk 2:25, 38). We have seen earlier how Jesus fulfills the prophecies concerning himself. We limit ourselves here to those in which the relationship of the Messiah and his Spirit appears more clearly. (CCC 716) The People of the "poor" (Cf. Zeph 2:3; Pss 22:27; 34:3; Isa 49:13; 61:1; etc.) - those who, humble and meek, rely solely on their God's mysterious plans, who await the justice, not of men but of the Messiah - are in the end the great achievement of the Holy Spirit's hidden mission during the time of the promises that prepare for Christ's coming. It is this quality of heart, purified and enlightened by the Spirit, which is expressed in the Psalms. In these poor, the Spirit is making ready "a people prepared for the Lord" (Lk 1:17).
 In days to come the mount of the LORD'S house Shall be established higher than the mountains; it shall rise high above the hills, And peoples shall stream to it:  Many nations shall come, and say, "Come, let us climb the mount of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob, That he may instruct us in his ways, that we may walk in his paths." For from Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between many peoples and impose terms on strong and distant nations; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; One nation shall not raise the sword against another, nor shall they train for war again.  Every man shall sit under his own vine or under his own fig tree, undisturbed; for the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.(CCC 762) The remote preparation for this gathering together of the People of God begins when he calls Abraham and promises that he will become the father of a great people (Cf. Gen 12:2; 15:5-6). Its immediate preparation begins with Israel's election as the People of God. By this election, Israel is to be the sign of the future gathering of all nations (Cf. Ex 19:5-6; Deut 7:6; Isa 2:2-5; Mic 4:1-4). But the prophets accuse Israel of breaking the covenant and behaving like a prostitute. They announce a new and eternal covenant. "Christ instituted this New Covenant" (LG 9; cf. Hos 1; Isa 1:2-4; Jer 2; 31:31-34; Isa 55:3).
 Woe to those who plan iniquity, and work out evil on their couches; In the morning light they accomplish it when it lies within their power.  They covet fields, and seize them; houses, and they take them; They cheat an owner of his house, a man of his inheritance.
 Out of my distress I called to the LORD, and he answered me; From the midst of the nether world I cried for help, and you heard my voice.  For you cast me into the deep, into the heart of the sea, and the flood enveloped me; All your breakers and your billows passed over me.  Then I said, "I am banished from your sight! yet would I again look upon your holy temple."  The waters swirled about me, threatening my life; the abyss enveloped me; seaweed clung about my head.  Down I went to the roots of the mountains; the bars of the nether world were closing behind me forever, But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD, my God.  When my soul fainted within me, I remembered the LORD; My prayer reached you in your holy temple.  Those who worship vain idols forsake their source of mercy.  But I, with resounding praise, will sacrifice to you; What I have vowed I will pay: deliverance is from the LORD.
(CCC 2585) From the time of David to the coming of the Messiah texts appearing in these sacred books show a deepening in prayer for oneself and in prayer for others (Ezra 9:6-15; Neh 1:4-11; Jon 2:3-10; Tob 3:11-16; Jdt 9:2-14). Thus the psalms were gradually collected into the five books of the Psalter (or "Praises"), the masterwork of prayer in the Old Testament.
 But the LORD sent a large fish, that swallowed Jonah; and he remained in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
 But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD.
 Yes, days are coming, says the Lord GOD, when I will send famine upon the land: Not a famine of bread, or thirst for water, but for hearing the word of the LORD.
 I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentations. I will cover the loins of all with sackcloth and make every head bald. I will make them mourn as for an only son, and bring their day to a bitter end.
 Hear this, you who trample upon the needy and destroy the poor of the land!  "When will the new moon be over," you ask, "that we may sell our grain, and the sabbath, that we may display the wheat? We will diminish the ephah, add to the shekel, and fix our scales for cheating!  We will buy the lowly man for silver, and the poor man for a pair of sandals; even the refuse of the wheat we will sell!"
 This is what the Lord GOD showed me: He was forming a locust swarm when the late growth began to come up (the late growth after the king's mowing).  While they were eating all the grass in the land, I said: Forgive, O Lord GOD! How can Jacob stand? He is so small!
 I hate, I spurn your feasts, I take no pleasure in your solemnities;  Your cereal offerings I will not accept, nor consider your stall-fed peace offerings.  Away with your noisy songs! I will not listen to the melodies of your harps. But if you would offer me holocausts,  then let justice surge like water, and goodness like an unfailing stream.  Did you bring me sacrifices and offerings for forty years in the desert, O house of Israel?
(CCC 2100) Outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit...." (PS 51:17). The prophets of the Old Covenant often denounced sacrifices that were not from the heart or not coupled with love of neighbor (Cf. Am 5:21-25; Isa 1:10-20). Jesus recalls the words of the prophet Hosea: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13; 12:7; Cf. Hos 6:6). The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father's love and for our salvation (Cf. Heb 9:13-14). By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God. (CCC 1435) Conversion is accomplished in daily life by gestures of reconciliation, concern for the poor, the exercise and defense of justice and right (Cf. Am 5:24; Isa 1:17), by the admission of faults to one's brethren, fraternal correction, revision of life, examination of conscience, spiritual direction, acceptance of suffering, endurance of persecution for the sake of righteousness. Taking up one's cross each day and following Jesus is the surest way of penance (Cf. Lk 9:23).
 Then everyone shall be rescued who calls on the name of the LORD; For on Mount Zion there shall be a remnant, as the LORD has said, And in Jerusalem survivors whom the LORD shall call.
 Then afterward I will pour out my spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions;  Even upon the servants and the handmaids, in those days, I will pour out my spirit.  And I will work wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood, fire, and columns of smoke;  The sun will be turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, At the coming of the Day of the LORD, the great and terrible day.
 Yet even now, says the LORD, return to me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;  Rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the LORD, your God. For gracious and merciful is he, slow to anger, rich in kindness, and relenting in punishment.
(CCC 1430) Jesus' call to conversion and penance, like that of the prophets before him, does not aim first at outward works, "sackcloth and ashes," fasting and mortification, but at the conversion of the heart, interior conversion. Without this, such penances remain sterile and false; however, interior conversion urges expression in visible signs, gestures and works of penance (Cf. Joel 2:12-13; Isa 1:16-17; Mt 6:1-6; 16-18).
 I will not give vent to my blazing anger, I will not destroy Ephraim again; For I am God and not man, the Holy One present among you; I will not let the flames consume you.
 1 When Israel was a child I loved him, out of Egypt I called my son.  The more I called them, the farther they went from me, Sacrificing to the Baals and burning incense to idols.  Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms;  I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks; Yet, though I stooped to feed my child, they did not know that I was their healer.
 What can I do with you, Ephraim? What can I do with you, Judah? Your piety is like a morning cloud, like the dew that early passes away.  For this reason I smote them through the prophets, I slew them by the words of my mouth;  For it is love that I desire, not sacrifice, and knowledge of God rather than holocausts.
(CCC 2100) Outward sacrifice, to be genuine, must be the expression of spiritual sacrifice: "The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit...." (PS 51:17). The prophets of the Old Covenant often denounced sacrifices that were not from the heart or not coupled with love of neighbor (Cf. Am 5:21-25; Isa 1:10-20). Jesus recalls the words of the prophet Hosea: "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13; 12:7; Cf. Hos 6:6). The only perfect sacrifice is the one that Christ offered on the cross as a total offering to the Father's love and for our salvation (Cf. Heb 9:13-14). By uniting ourselves with his sacrifice we can make our lives a sacrifice to God.
 In their affliction, they shall look for me: "Come, let us return to the LORD, For it is he who has rent, but he will heal us; he has struck us, but he will bind our wounds.
(CCC 589) Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners with God's own attitude toward them (Cf. Mt 9:13; Hos 6:6). He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table of sinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet (Cf. Lk 15:1-2, 22-32). But it was most especially by forgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma. Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?" (Mk 2:7). By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself God's equal, or is speaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal God's name (Cf. Jn 5:18; 10:33; 17:6, 26).
This commentary to The Youth Catechism (YouCat) through the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) offers to the reader of YouCat, written in a language suitable for young people, the more extensive and indepth treatments of the CCC. The CCC comments follow any answer to give to the reader additional help in understanding the questions that are discussed, and their significance in his life. It would show what the Catholic Church believes today, and how one can with good reason believe. YouCat and this commentary through the Catechism of the Catholic Church are both exciting, because they speak of our own destiny and so deeply engage every one of us. The structure we find in the Youth Catechism is taken from centuries of catechetical experience: What we believe—How we should celebrate the Christian mysteries—How we have life in Christ—How we should pray. We need to be more deeply rooted in our faith than the generation of our parents, so that we can engage the big challenges and temptations of this time, with strength and determination. Let’s all study this Gospel message, our “pearl of great value” (Mt 13:46).May God bless you.
Fr. Gualberto Gismondi ofm