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the courage to work
"Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes?" —Haggai 2:3
It's discouraging to see how bad things have become. It's discouraging to think that even our best efforts are very inadequate and possibly inferior to what we've done before (see Hg 2:3). It's discouraging to have your best work be overshadowed by the damage inflicted by the evil one for years.
But now, "take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts" (Hg 2:4). "I will fill this house with glory, says the Lord of hosts" (Hg 2:7). "Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the Lord of hosts; and in this place I will give you peace" (Hg 2:9). "For I know well the plans I have in mind for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare, not for woe! plans to give you a future full of hope" (Jer 29:11).
"God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him by your service, past and present, to His holy people" (Heb 6:10). "Despite the increase of sin, grace has far surpassed it" (Rm 5:20). "Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as dawned on man what God has prepared for those who love Him" (1 Cor 2:9). Jesus promises: "You will suffer in the world. But take courage! I have overcome the world" (Jn 16:33). Take courage and work!
Prayer: Father, give me hope, encouragement, and zeal to work.
Promise: "Send forth Your light and Your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to Your holy mountain." —Ps 43:3
Praise: Cosmas and Damian, brothers and physicians, imitated Jesus, the Divine Physician (Lk 4:23), by travelling throughout the land, healing people free of charge, and converting them to belief in the Lord.
Nihil Obstat: Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, February 1, 1997
Imprimatur: †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 1997