Thursday of the Twenty-fifth Week in Ordinary Time [I]

Reading Haggai 1:1-8
Gospel Luke 9:7-9

Consider your ways! You have sown much, but have brought in little….

Today’s First Reading consists of the first eight verses of the Book of Haggai. While this book is found many books later in the order of the Old Testament canon than Ezra and Nehemiah, thematically the three of them are joined. Haggai is one of the minor prophets of the Old Testament, and the book bearing his name is second to last in the Hebrew canon.
Where in Ezra and Nehemiah God had demanded that His Temple be rebuilt, in Haggai God recognizes that His people’s response has been to declare that "The time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the LORD." Such bare-faced rejection of God’s Will is what God asks Haggai to confront.
God’s people were using misfortunes as justification for delaying the building of the Temple. In the face of this, God points out that misfortunes point all the more to the need of the people to trust in His will, and to follow His commands. We might reflect today on whether we’ve used misfortunes in our own lives as a way to get around—or as we tell ourselves, just to delay—our compliance with what God has asked of us.