Deacon Stu Dobson’s Reflection
September 24, 2021
25th Friday in Ordinary Time, September 24, 2021
Hg 2:1-9; Ps 43:1-4; Lk 9:18-22
The first reading opens up with an impassioned plea by Haggi to rebuild the temple. Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it seem like nothing in your eyes? Take courage he says, take courage. A couple years ago the Lord gave me a word about being a remnant people. I wish I had a copy of it because the words God spoke to me was very specific about us as a people. Much like Haggi’s plea, God was pleading with us, as a remnant people to have faith. To not give up on the world as we know it and stick to the Gospel message we know so well. Haggi goes on to encourage the faithful, the remnant of Israel, to rebuild the temple, it is here, he says, where you will find peace.
Jesus, in the Gospel, is asking a similar question, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” For us, it seems like a silly question, of course you are the Son of God! But Jesus was trying to find out who others thought he was. One could suppose that he was doing this to see how effective he had been in His ministry. If they recognized Him as the messiah, would His ministry work be completed? Or, if they gave some vague answer, Jesus would have to work awhile longer and probably with more radical means to get them to understand. Which of course, we know this to be the case.
When Peter answers, “The Christ of God,” Jesus rebukes him and says for them to not tell anyone. Jesus was not done with His ministry yet. He had a lot more work to do, but He also knew that most would never understand, and He would be rejected. According to St. Luke, this is the first time Jesus brought up His passion and death, all the suffering He would have to go through. This was a hard pill for the disciples to understand. How could their Messiah suffer, let alone die? The work of Jesus had only begun so why is Jesus talking about suffering? If only they knew what they would go through. With His small group of disciples, Jesus continues on His mission, teaching, working miracles and telling all He meets the good news of salvation. Much like Haggi, pleading with the Israelites to rebuild the temple, Jesus is pleading with those He meets to open their eyes and see. Let us see so we can build that new temple, the one where God dwells in us, His Church. That is where we will find the peace Haggi talks about.