25th Week in Ordinary Time
Cosmas and Damian
Psalter: Week 1
Ps 149:1b–2, 3–4, 5–6a and 9b
The Lord takes delight in his people.
1st Reading: Hg 1:1–8
In the second year of the reign of Darius, on the first day of the sixth month, a word of Yahweh was directed to the prophet Haggai for the benefit of Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest.
“So says Yahweh of hosts: This people claim that the time to rebuild the House of Yahweh has not yet come. Well now, hear what I have to say through the prophet Haggai: Is this the time for you to live in your well-built houses while this House is a heap of ruins? Think about your ways: you have sown much but harvested little, you eat and drink but are not satisfied, you clothe yourselves but still feel cold, and the laborer puts the money he earned in a tattered purse.
Now think about what you must do: go to the mountain and look for wood to rebuild the House. This will make me happy and I will feel deeply honored, says Yahweh.
Gospel: Lk 9:7–9
King Herod heard of all that Jesus was doing and did not know what to think, for people said, “This is John, raised from the dead.” Others believed that Elijah or one of the ancient prophets had come back to life. As for Herod, he said, “I had John beheaded; who is this man about whom I hear such wonders?” And he was anxious to see him.
Repentance (1987), Tengiz Abuladze’s semi-allegorical movie critiquing Stalinism, ends with a thought-provoking scene: A woman is preparing a cake (a scene with which the movie opened). An old lady walking along the road comes up to the window of the woman and asks whether the road will lead to the church. The woman responds that the road is Varlam Street and will not lead to the church. The old lady then responds: “What good is a road if it does not lead to a church?”
When people claimed that the time for rebuilding God’s House had not come, God thundered through the mouth of Prophet Haggai: “Is this the time for you to live in your well-built houses while this House is a heap of ruins? Build my House!” What good are our happy and cozy lives if God’s House is in ruins? What good is a community if God is not its center? What good are all our scientific discoveries and technological advancements if they do not lead us closer to God? Indeed, what good is a road if it does not lead to a church?
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