1 In the second year of Darius the king, in the seventh month, on the twenty-first day of the month, the word of the LORD came by Haggai the prophet, 2 “Speak now to Zerubbabel the son of She-alti-el, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest, and to all the remnant of the people, and say,
3 ‘Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? How do you see it now? Is it not in your sight as nothing?
4 Yet now take courage, O Zerubbabel, says the LORD; take courage, O Joshua, son of Jehozadak, the high priest; take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD; work, for I am with you, says the LORD of hosts,
5 according to the promise that I made you when you came out of Egypt. My Spirit abides among you; fear not.6 For thus says the LORD of hosts: Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land;
7 and I will shake all nations, so that the treasures of all nations shall come in, and I will fill this house with splendor, says the LORD of hosts.
8 The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, says the LORD of hosts.
9 The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former, says the LORD of hosts; and in this place I will give prosperity, says the LORD of hosts.'”
18 Now it happened that as he was praying alone the disciples were with him; and he asked them, “Who do the people say that I am?”
19 And they answered, “John the Baptist; but others say, Elijah; and others, that one of the old prophets has risen.”
20 And he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.”
21 But he charged and commanded them to tell this to no one,
22 saying, “The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.”
HAGGAI THE PROPHET received God’s calling to travel to Jerusalem and address the leadership who have become despondent because their efforts to rebuild and restore the temple to its former glory, is hampered by drought and the lack of money! Haggai sought to inspire and encourage the leadership with the promise that rain and prosperity will soon be showered upon the people.
THE GOSPEL READING traverse Jesus’ questioning the twelve about the perception of the Hebrew people in regards His prophetic identity.This probative question comes on the back of the miracle of the multiplication of the bread and fish. Unsatisfied by the speculative answers of the followers whom He just fed, Jesus turns His attention to Simon Bar-Jonah, hoping that he could provide a more insightful answer based upon facts and not speculation! The outcome of Peters divinely inspired answer led Jesus to affirm Peters revelation and in turn He reveal the eminence of His death and ressurection on the third day! Upon Jesus’ revelation none of the Apostles sought to further question Him.
Calamities and unjust mandates by those in power who pretend to know how we can ‘save’ our lives, and their objections at our important questions at the expense of sacrificing our freedom and self-determination, have the hallmarks of evil! Jesus is calling us to be courageous, take up our cross and exclusively follow Him. Devout followers of Christ should expect suffering and rejection as part of our walk of faith. Our Lords revelation points to transformation and healing to save our souls from damnation.In the face of those unbelievers who rejected Christs teaching and walked away, may we take courage and answer in the affirmative like Peter; “to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” Jn 6:68
LET US PRAY: Psalms 43:1-4
1 Vindicate me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; from deceitful and unjust men deliver me!
2 For thou art the God in whom I take refuge; why hast thou cast me off? Why go I mourning because of the oppression of the enemy?
3 Oh send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill and to thy dwelling!
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise thee with the lyre, O God, my God.
Author. Henry R SYLVESTER Note: The daily scripture readings are taken from the Roman Missal which the Catholic Church use in the daily Celebration of the Holy Eucharist throughout the world.Some weekly readings may differ because of the celebration of local feast.