Homily for Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time Year A
Theme: Building the Family House.
By: Fr. Evaristus Abu
Homily for Thursday September 26 2019
(Thursday 26th September 2019. Read Haggai 1:1-8, Psalm 149 and Luke 9:7-9)
“Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins?” (Haggai 1:4)
A few days ago, we read of how Jesus said that his mother and his brothers were those who hear the word of God and keep it, thereby making us part of his one family. The church can be likened to a family house; a place where we can rightfully call home, a place we look forward to always, a place to find forgiveness, redemption and calm after the world has dealt with us, a place to connect with family (the most important people in our lives).
The church is more than just a building; it is home yet like any home, care must be taken to maintain the physical structure and preserve it so that there is a constant longing to visit this house. As the Psalmist would sing: “I rejoiced when I heard them say: ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’ And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:1-3). *Is there a longing in you, a sense of joy when you are going to the house of God?* If not, then there is a problem.
David asked the prophet, Nathan, an important question, one that we must ask ourselves too: “How can I be dwelling in a house of cedar while the ark of God dwells in a tent” (2nd Samuel 7:2)? Even though David had the money and resources, God did not permit him to build but showered countless blessings on him for merely indicating to build. That is to say, whenever we have the resources, we should consider it the greatest privilege of our lives to partake of the building (and maintenance) of the house of God. It is our duty to ensure that the house of God remains a place of deep longing; a place that merely thinking of going fills our hearts with joy.
Hear what the prophet Haggai says in today’s first reading: “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your panelled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: Consider how you have fared. You have sown much, and harvested little; you eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill; you clothe yourselves, but no one is warm, and he who earns wages earns wages to put them into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:4-6).
God will not hold anyone responsible if he or she does not have the means of building. Rather, God is saying: “if you can afford to build a befitting house for yourself, you should not neglect the building that houses your Father (your family building; the church).” When you do not consider it important to build the house of God, you may end up spending your money on things that bear no fruits.
As much as the church is a place where God dwells, our bodies are likewise temples of God. If we do not maintain our inner purity and sanctity, this temple that is our body would lie in ruins and what the prophet Haggai says in our first reading becomes applicable in our lives. Maintaining our spiritual selves does not require money, it demands self-discipline; being watchful of the kind of thoughts we accommodate in our hearts. As St. Peter would say: “Discipline yourselves, keep alert. Like a roaring lion your adversary, the devil prowls around, looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
In other words, maintaining our spiritual selves is ensuring that God has a space in our minds at all time. Do not be like Herod who was trying to see Jesus only because he wanted to see a miracle.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, teach me how to reverence the church and bless me as I build my inner temple for you, Amen.
Be Happy. Live Positive. Have Faith. It is well with you. God bless you. (Thursday of the 25th Week in Ordinary Time. Bible Study: Haggai 1:1-8, Psalm 149 and Luke 9:7-9)