In today’s First Reading the Lord is encouraging the Israelites to not be discouraged because the Temple they are rebuilding will not have the same opulence or size as the first Temple that was destroyed when they were taken into exile. Through Haggai the Lord promises that blessings will fill it in a way that shakes up the world. The opulence of the Temple does not matter; the presence of the Lord and his Spirit is what matters, and he is with them.
When Our Lord today sounds out the disciples about the rumor mill surrounding him, and then what they think, they show an expectation of glory from whom they believe to be the “Christ of God”: the Messiah. Like the second Temple, they may experience discouragement when they realize how the Christ must accomplish his mission: it will shake them when the Messiah suffers and dies, but it will be a source of abundant fruits, just as the Lord promised through Haggai. The Lord himself will become that Temple from which the treasures of Baptism and the Eucharist flow, but only when the order of things is shaken up and in the eyes of the world a simple criminal is punished and executed.
We know in faith and hope that Our Lord will fulfill all our expectations, but also that sometimes it happens in a way we’d have never anticipated. Let’s renew our faith in the power of Our Savior today in order to weather whatever he needs to shake up in order to fill the world with his blessings. It may seem small, even insignificant in the eyes of the world, but it’ll be powerful.
Readings: Haggai 2:1–9; Psalm 43:1–4; Luke 9:18–22. See also 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle B.