The road
…taken or untaken.

On that day the mourning in Jerusalem shall be as great as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo.

Zechariah prophesies about Jesus’ suffering and death, not as a prophecy for the purpose of sadness and regret, but for the purpose of motivating people to understand what that suffering and death would purchase.

In his time the people could choose to confront the mourning to come by wallowing in that mourning without seeing a way out, or they could choose to see the hope to come, the salvation that was around the corner – only 500 years away.

Thus says the LORD: I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace.

Jesus gave His all, His life to pour out God’s graces on us, in fact on everyone. It is, as the catechism describes:

Grace is God’s help. Grace is a gift God gives us through all that Jesus Christ did for our salvation.

God doesn’t just want to offer us grace; He freely does offer us His grace – and we are free to choose it.

Zechariah is talking about two options. Since we live after Jesus’ coming and His opening of grace, we can accept and take advantage on all Jesus did, of what the Father offers us. We can choose to accept and bathe away our weakness, mourning and sin in the fountain of those graces poured out. Graces open to us:

On that day there shall be open to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, a fountain to purify from sin and uncleanness.

We can choose to be cleansed of sin and live His way, or we can simply choose not to accept, relish, and be changed by His gift of grace. We can choose to live as we are in mourning and sadness.

Robert Frost’s poem, The Road Not Taken comes to mind. But, it really isn’t a choice between two equally decent possibilities. Living a life that accepts God’s grace, the life Jesus laid out for us, is the better choice. It is the choice that frees us from sin that makes us clean, that is full and that has endless – eternal – possibility.

The disciples were confronted with a question. “Who do the crowds say that I am?” and “…who do you say that I am?” They had an opportunity to stick with the road the crowds had taken or they could accept the other road, the untaken road of grace that would give them new insight. They chose the untaken road and recognized God. Then they went and shared that grace. It is up to us, the road chosen, and the road we lead others to choose. Choose to see and to share the hope we have in Jesus.