11/10 Readings: From Ruin to Splendor 

22 Pentecost

Haggai 1:15b-2:9 [Job 19:23-27a]
Ps. 145:1-5, 18-21 or Ps. 98 [Psalm 17:1-9]
2 Thess. 2:1-5, 13-17
Luke 20:27-38

“As [Jesus] came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, ‘Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!’ Then Jesus asked him, ‘Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down” (Mark 13:1-2).

Jesus anticipated the destruction of the Second Temple just as he anticipated the destruction of his own body. Before the stones of the temple would fall, he would fall, under the weight of his cross, and of the burden of sins he carried yet never committed. He would stagger through abuse and false judgment, ridicule and hatred.  He would breathe his last and descend to the dead.  Despairing, he would cry out through the words of the psalter while hung from a tree, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:47; Ps. 22:1) Sacred spaces and the sanctity of human flesh were and have been and are being rejected. And there are those who still think, “God will not see. The God of Jacob will not understand” (Ps. 94:7)

Again, and again, however, God has called the dead to life and to glory. When the exiles in Babylon returned to their homeland and were given permission to rebuild the temple, the initial result was disappointing. Zerubbabel, the governor of Judah, and Joshua, the high priest, and the remnant of the people could see only a faint shadow of former glory. The prophet Haggai stepped in to encourage them, saying for God, “I am with you according to the promise that I made when you came out of Egypt. My spirit abides among you; do not fear. … Once again, in a little while, I will shake the heavens and the earth and the sea and the dry land; and I will shake all the nations, so that the treasures of all the nations shall come, and I will fill this house with splendor … the silver is mine, and the gold is mine. … The latter splendor of this house shall be greater than the former” (Hag. 2:4-9). “Splendor” is more than riches; it is also “glory.” It is transcendent wonder.

And what will be the fate of bodies left half-dead by the road, or crucified outside the city? Will wounds be healed and will the crucified live? Here again, promise and encouragement are critical. Job, as if looking to our wounded Savior, says in all his pain, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, and that at the last he will stand upon the earth; and after my skin has been thus destroyed, then in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see on my side, and my eyes shall behold, and not another” (Job 19:25-27).

Such faith is God’s gift to us. The glory of the Lord will again fill the spaces of our lives. The Lord will shine in his holy Church. The Lord will live in homes and communities. The Lord will take his seat in the temples of human hearts. Although waiting to attain the full glory of the Lord, a measure of it is already present. Go on in hope. “Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God and Father, who loved us and through his grace gave us eternal comfort and good hope, comfort your hearts and strengthen them in every good work and word” (II Thess. 3:16-17).

All space and all bodies are alive to him who is the Life of the World (Luke 20:27-38).

Look It UpCollect of the Day

Think About It:  We are being made like him in his eternal glory.


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