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(Part 34)


September 26, 2019
Today’s reading: Haggai 1:1-8

Before Haggai’s prophetic call to rebuild the temple, the people had said: “Now is not the time to rebuild the house of the Lord.” (v.2). They had other priorities. That seems to be the case with most Catholics today. Our Church is a missionary Church, but most of her members are not doing mission. Most are involved in secular affairs. But even for those involved in Church work, there is more emphasis on maintenance rather than mission. There is also more emphasis on social justice issues such as immigration and climate change rather than issues of sexual morality and the onslaught of modernism and LGBT.

The result is tragic. We are losing Catholics by the day. 99 of the 100 sheep are lost.

And the world continues to be steeped in darkness and sin. We are not seeing the prosperity that should come to God’s covenanted people. Our societies are beset by poverty, criminality, corruption, environmental degradation, etc. There is widespread depression, dissatisfaction and desolation. “You have sown much, but have brought in little; you have eaten, but have not been satisfied; you have drunk, but have not become intoxicated; you have clothed yourselves, but have not been warmed; and the hired worker labors for a bag full of holes.” (v.6).

Stop what you are doing and consider the situation. Stop just going through the motions of life but not reaping what God intends for you. “Now thus says the Lord of hosts: Reflect on your experience!” (v.5). Why is it that “you expected much, but it came to little” (v.9a). Why is it that God seems to be absent in your life and your endeavors? “And what you brought home, I blew away.” (v.9b). “Why is this?” (v.9c).

Here is the reason: “Because my house is the one which lies in ruins, while each of you runs to your own house.” (v.9d). What is the reason? You have your priorities wrong. You take care of your own but not what belongs to God. You build and improve your own house while the house of God, His Church, is being eroded. You reside in your comfortable homes while the Church of God is deteriorating. “Is it time for you to dwell in your paneled houses while this house lies in ruins?” (v.4).

We are naturally concerned about our home and family. We naturally spend much time and effort on the well-being of our loved ones, including going about our secular work. But that cannot be our only concern. It should not even be our top concern. We are families on mission. Our main concern should be the work of God done by His body on earth. We are to “build the house that I may be pleased with it, and that I may be glorified, says the Lord.” (v.8b).

Besides, if we take care of our own home and family, but neglect to do the work of the Church, especially in the area of evangelization and mission, then we endanger our own families. The world out there is very antagonistic to marriage and family, and unless we bring Christ into that world, it will bring darkness and ruin into our homes.

CFC-FFL is a servant to the Church. LCSC is a servant of the Church. God’s grace and blessings come as we live out our authentic charism and call. This is what we have experienced all these years. But there is much more that needs to be done, especially in rebuilding our Church.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Reflect on your experience!” (v.7).

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