September 28, 2023
by Candice Tucci, OSF
Creighton University's College of Nursing
click here for photo and information about the writer

Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time
Lectionary: 452

Haggai 1:1-8
Psalm 149:1b-2, 3-4, 5-6a and 9b
Luke 9:7-9

Praying Ordinary Time

A Matter of the Heart: Prayer as Relationship

The Jewish people have returned to Jerusalem having been exiled. It is now 18 years later, and the Temple has not yet been rebuilt. Is it time?

The Prophet, Haggai, reminds them to not only ask this question but to reflect on their lives, experiences, and behaviors. Then, it will be time to rebuild the Temple and restore the glory God had lost at the time of the Temple’s destruction, as was the people's understanding.

Can an architect build a house for someone not knowing the person or the desires of the person who will occupy it? Building this Temple also restores a relationship with the God of their ancestors and the process allows, perhaps, a more intimate knowledge of their God and God’s knowledge of them.

Our gospel finds Herod perplexed, and more so with reports he was hearing from the Jewish people. He wanted to see Jesus. But what was his motivation? Perhaps he needed some self-reflection and evaluation?

We are living temples of the Holy Spirit. We are a place where Christ dwells.

What is our relationship with Jesus? Or Christ. Or the Holy Spirt, Or God our creator? How do you know God and how do you find ways to grow in a more intimate relationship with our triune God? Is there is need to rebuild a broken relationship? 
Yes, God desires this relationship. What must each of us do to perhaps restore, renovate, or widen the walls of our hearts to recognize this Sacred Occupant of our Temple? Go up or deep into your interior landscape and gather all that is needed for you to begin.

Unlike Herod, you can see/know this Holy Presence and do not evict it! Hear God say,
listen, and know that I am God, with you, in you, around you, always. Then…

Let the faithful exult in glory.
Let them sing for joy!
Let high praises of God be in their throats.
This is the glory of all God’s faithful! (Ps. 149)

 This is a blueprint for life!

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