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Friday, September 25, 2009

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Haggai 1:15—2:9
Psalm 43:1-4
Luke 9:18-22

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construction workers

"Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the Lord of hosts." —Haggai 2:9

After the temple had been destroyed for sixty-seven years, the Israelites returned from exile. Following seventeen more years of seeing the temple lie in ruins, the Lord raised up the prophets Haggai and Zechariah (see Zec 6:11-12) to command Zerubbabel the governor, Joshua the high priest, and the remnant of the people to get to work (Hg 2:1-2).

Four groups of people were necessary for the rebuilding of the Temple. If we are to rebuild the Church, we will need these same four groups of workers. First, we need prophets to tell us what God is saying. Without them, we don't know what work to do or when to do it. "Without prophecy the people become demoralized" (Prv 29:18). After the prophets tell us what God wants, we need civil officials — not to play party politics, but to come under Jesus' Lordship. Next, we need the clergy. We need priests who will rebuild the Church by fearlessly proclaiming our need for repentance and salvation. Finally, we need the "remnant of the people" to do the work of rebuilding the Church. The remnant is not just the "leftovers," the few remaining people in a time of eroded faith. They are prophetic, called by God, uncompromised with the world, and totally committed to the Lord.

With two prophets, one or two righteous politicians and priests, and several members of the remnant, we have the workers needed to rebuild the Church.

Prayer:  Father, make me another St. Francis of Assisi.

Promise:  "Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain." —Ps 43:3

Praise:  Marian builds up the Church by helping others develop their spiritual gifts and encouraging others to attend daily Mass.

Reference:  (There is still time to register for our October series of retreats, Building Christian Community, Bible Time Line, and Discipleship, Leadership, Redemptive Suffering & Mary, Oct 2-11. Come to some or all of these retreats. Call 937-587-5464.)

Rescript:  †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 11, 2009

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