Commentary on the Gospel of

Steve Scholer - Creighton University's University Relations

Memorial of Saint Pius of Pietrelcina, Priest



The reading from Haggai brought back old memories for me. Growing up Lutheran, I had vacation Bible school each summer, from 8 am until, noon, for two weeks. Some of my best memories are of the homemade sugar cookies and the red Kool Aid we had each day after recess; and, on the last day, singing, complete with hand movements, “The Wise Man Builds His House Upon the Rock” for our parents when they picked us up. 

Fast forward six decades. What type of house are we building today? Is our house built on sand that will be washed away, or is our house built on the Rock of Peter? Are we more preoccupied filling our proverbial house with possessions, or are we focused on filling our house with love and good deeds? More importantly, what can we do to reinforce our house so it will not be washed away by the waves that crash down?

The pandemic kept many of us “sheltering in place” and spending more time at home. And the more time we spent at home, the more we noticed little projects or even major renovations that needed to be done.

But what attention did we give to our spiritual home? The home that is the most important for us to be continually updating and renovating. Are we looking deep inside to see what improvements are needed in our faith life, or are we focused only on the tangible?

For some of us there has been no updating or remodeling of our spiritual home since possibly our eight-grade confirmation. For others, daily prayer and reflection have made clear the changes that are needed in our spiritual homes, how we live our lives and how we interact with those around us.

As we go about our life today we need to remind ourselves of the words of the prophet Haggai and focus our attention not on our material needs, or as so aptly stated, our “own paneled houses,” but rather to work to build up the house of the Lord through our thoughts, words and deeds. And to remember that Jesus is constantly at our side, a guest at our house who, fortunately, will never leave us -- one who is always there to help and guide us to do what is right and just.

And if we do look inward each and every day to improve our spiritual home, then we, too, can take comfort in the words of Haggai when he said, “Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house That I may take pleasure in it and receive my glory, says the LORD.”


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