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Friday, September 28, 2007

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St. Wenceslaus
St. Lawrence Ruiz & Companions

Haggai 1:15—2:9
Psalm 43
Luke 9:18-22

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"rebuild my church"

"Take courage, all you people of the land, says the Lord, and work! For I am with you, says the Lord of hosts." —Haggai 2:4

Haggai prophesied and exhorted the governor Zerubbabel, the high priest Joshua, and the remnant of the people to take courage, work, and rebuild the Temple. Saint Francis of Assisi heard the same calling from God. So he did what the people of Haggai's time did and began repairing the ruined church of San Damiano. However, the Lord interrupted Francis' work and revealed to him that rebuilding the Church was not a matter of bricks and mortar but repentance and evangelization.

We also are called to rebuild the Church. We begin by removing the plank of sin from our own eyes and then removing the specks from others' eyes by inviting them to repent (Mt 7:5). We prophesy to the dry bones of cultural, lukewarm "Christianity" (see Ez 37:4). We proclaim the good news of Jesus. We offer everyone the opportunity to turn their lives over to Him, to live for Him and not for themselves, to do His will and not their own.

Through this evangelization, we rebuild the Church, and the future glory of the Church will be greater than the former (Hg 2:9).

Prayer:  Father, may I be a living stone "built as an edifice of spirit, into a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to" You through Jesus Christ (1 Pt 2:5).

Promise:  " 'The Son of Man,' He said, 'must first endure many sufferings, be rejected by the elders, the high priests and the scribes, and be put to death, and then be raised up on the third day.' " —Lk 9:22

Praise:  St. Wenceslaus built up his local church and received the crown of martyrdom for it.

Reference:  (For related teaching, order our leaflet, Evangelism and Worship, or our tape on audio AV 49-1 or video V-49.)

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, March 14, 2007

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