"Is it time for you to dwell in your own paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?" —Haggai 1:4
The Israelites were building and remodeling their houses but not rebuilding the house of the Lord. Because they were not working on the right house, they were impoverished, dissatisfied, depressed, cold, and empty (Hg 1:6).
Christians today seem to be making a mistake similar to that of the Israelites. Although most of us are willing to put out substantial amounts for church buildings, building the Church of the New Testament involves much more than constructing buildings. Building the Church means:
- evangelizing and being witnesses for Christ (Acts 1:8),
- making disciples of all nations (Mt 28:19), and
- forming and developing small Christian communities (see Acts 2:42; 4:32).
Very few Christians even know what it means to build the Church of the New Testament. Consequently, there is not much Church-building going on in the midst of many church activities. As with the people of Haggai's time, this results in frustration, confusion, and discontent with parish life. "Without vision, the people perish" (see Prv 29:18, KJV).
Therefore, "consider your ways" (Hg 1:5, 7); build the Church; be happy.
Prayer: Father, may the Church be stronger and greater because of my life.
Promise: "Build the house that I may take pleasure in it and receive My glory, says the Lord." —Hg 1:8
Praise: Sts. Cosmas and Damian were physicians used by God to heal both body and soul.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet Evangelism and Worship or our tape on audio AV 49-1 or video V-49.)
Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, February 4, 2013
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