The Catholic Defender: Considering the 9th of Av
Approximately 520 B.C. the Prophet Zechariah wrote the book Zechariah which was a predominant message warning the Jewish people that the day of the Lord will come to judge the sins of Judah. There would be a remnant that will be saved who humble themselves. Referring to Zechariah 7:3 we read that there is weeping and the need to sanctify themselves. It was the 9th of Av 586 B.C. (the fifth Month of the Hebrew Calendar) that the Babylonians invaded Israel and destroyed the Temple at the 3 O'clock hour. Many of the Jewish people were exiled into Babylon.
Zechariah 7:3 States, "To speak to the priests of the house of the Lord of hosts, and to the prophets, saying: Must I weep in the fifth month, or must I sanctify myself as I have now done for many years?"
The 9th of Av is remembered by the Jewish people as they mourn major calamities suffered because of their sin. Jesus warns of the impending destruction of the second Temple that would again happen on the 9th of Av (August 29) in 70 A.D. Like the first destruction of the Temple 586, it happened at the 3 O'clock hour of sacrifice.
Tisha B'Av lasted beginning just before sunset, it will continue until nightfall the following day. This past year the 9th of Av fell on July 17-18 2021 and like Yom Kippur, is a day of fasting. Notice that the 9th of Av is a floating date that changes from year to year (Tisha B'Av falls in July or August in the Gregorian calendar).
Daniel 9:24-27 states, “Seventy weeks are decreed for your people and for your holy city: Then transgression will stop and sin will end, guilt will be expiated, Everlasting justice will be introduced, vision and prophecy ratified, and a holy of holies will be anointed. Know and understand: From the utterance of the word that Jerusalem was to be rebuilt Until there is an anointed ruler, there shall be seven weeks. In the course of sixty-two weeks it shall be rebuilt, With squares and trenches, in time of affliction. After the sixty-two weeks an anointed one shall be cut down with no one to help him. And the people of a leader who will come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary. His end shall come in a flood; until the end of the war, which is decreed, there will be desolation. For one week he shall make a firm covenant with the many; Half the week he shall abolish sacrifice and offering; In their place shall be the desolating abomination until the ruin that is decreed is poured out upon the desolator.”
Notice what Jesus says in relation to Daniel (Matthew 24:15-28), “When you see the desolating abomination spoken of through Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains, a person on the housetop must not go down to get things out of his house, a person in the field must not return to get his cloak. Woe to pregnant women and nursing mothers in those days. Pray that your flight not be in winter or on the sabbath, for at that time there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will be. And if those days had not been shortened, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect they will be shortened. If anyone says to you then, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will arise, and they will perform signs and wonders so great as to deceive, if that were possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. So if they say to you, ‘He is in the desert,’ do not go out there; if they say, ‘He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. For just as lightning comes from the east and is seen as far as the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."
As a result, since 70 A.D., there have been no sacrifice performed as the Jewish priesthood ended. Jesus is the fulfillment and the true Sacrifice. The Mass has taken the place of the Old Testament Passover. Hebrews 13:11-16 states, "We have an altar from which those who serve the tabernacle have no right to eat. The bodies of the animals whose blood the high priest brings into the sanctuary as a sin offering are burned outside the camp. Therefore, Jesus also suffered outside the gate, to consecrate the people by his own blood. Let us then go to him outside the camp, bearing the reproach that he bore. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the one that is to come. Through him [then] let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind."
In the Old Testament there are many typologies that point to the foundation of the New Testament. The Catholic Faith inherits what was handed down from the ancients who served Our Lord. Today, we are enriched to discover the many connections that we can link the dots together. Most importantly the New and Everlasting Covenant that Christ established. It is important to note that the Church did as Jesus instructed and fled Jerusalem and was not present for this war. The Apostles Peter and Paul had reached Rome itself setting up the foundation of the Catholic faith. Of the Church of Rome, St. Paul writes, "First, I give thanks to my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is heralded throughout the world." (Romans 1:8)
John, can you add anything to this?