Memory of Jesus crucified

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Reading of the Word of God

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

This is the Gospel of the poor,
liberation for the imprisoned,
sight for the blind,
freedom for the oppressed.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Haggai 1, 15-2,9

This was on the twenty-fourth day of the sixth month. In the second year of King Darius,

on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of Yahweh was addressed through the prophet Haggai, as follows,

'You are to speak to Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel governor of Judah, to Joshua son of Jehozadak the high priest and to the remnant of the people. Say this,

"Is there anyone left among you who saw this Temple in its former glory? And how does it look to you now? Does it not seem as though there is nothing there?

But take courage now, Zerubbabel!-Yahweh declares. Courage, Joshua son of Jehozadak high priest! Courage, all you people of the country!-Yahweh declares. To work! I am with you -- Yahweh Sabaoth declares-

and my spirit is present among you. Do not be afraid!

For Yahweh Sabaoth says this: A little while now, and I shall shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land.

I shall shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will flow in, and I shall fill this Temple with glory, says Yahweh Sabaoth.

Mine is the silver, mine the gold!-Yahweh Sabaoth declares.

The glory of this new Temple will surpass that of the old, says Yahweh Sabaoth, and in this place I shall give peace -- Yahweh Sabaoth declares." '


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The Son of Man came to serve,
whoever wants to be great
should become servant of all.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

The exhortation of the prophet to rebuild the temple was fruitful. On October 17 (2:1), four weeks after the laying of the foundation stone, the new Temple was built, as we also read in Ezra (3:12-13). However, Haggai mentioned the sorrow of the elderly who compared the new building with the former one: "Is it not in your sight like nothing" The Ark, indeed, with its propitiatory and two cherubim was lost, and the stone tablets, the urn with manna, Aaron’s staff, the urim and tummim, the eternal burning embers on the altar as well: everything had been swept away by the holocaust in Babylon, and the copies which replaced them didn’t have the same significance. Yet, the prophet reaffirmed that the Lord, King and Guide of history, could reveal himself through unimaginable, new and unknown ways. So to this discouraged and afflicted people the prophet envisaged a brighter future than the Temple. He envisaged the establishment of the Kingdom of Heaven. In this framework, the Letter to the Hebrews mentions the prophet: "Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land" (2:6). Likewise God shook the Earth at the time of Exodus (Ps 114) and of Sinai (Ex 19:18; Ps 68:8; Judges 5:4-5). "Once again" He will shake all the nations, and they will come in His house and fill it with the most precious treasures (Is 60:4-7.13; 61:6; 45:14; Rev 21:24). Haggai showed Israel that all peoples would finally come to the Temple with their offerings to the Lord of hosts. This was the revelation of the domination of God over history. The prophet encouraged them to remember the wonders of God and trust Him. He repeated it three times to the people of the Lord: "Take courage" and then: "Work!" (v.4). The meaning of this encouragement is defined by his decision: "Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land"(vv. 4-5). While that people’s work was the building of the Temple, our "work" is a more generous dedication to the building of the Church. The temple of God is no longer a building for the disciples of Jesus; the Christian community is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone (Eph 2:20).