Thursday of Week XXV

“Go up into the hill country; bring timber, and build the house that I may be pleased with it, and that I may be glorified, says the LORD.” (Haggai 1:8.)

Saint Ambrose of Milan offers the following insight on this verse from today’s First Reading:

“The man who dies before his time does not build his tomb, for, although he lives, he is dead. He does not hear the words of Haggai, whose name interpreted the banqueter, for he does not enter the tabernacle of God “with the voice of joy and praise, the noise of one feasting.” How does he hear his voice if he does not see his works? If he saw them, he would hear the word which was put within his grasp, he would rejoice in his acts, whereby “he knocked and it was opened to him,” and he would have gone down into his soul that he might feed therein upon the food of sincerity and truth. Because he failed to hear, the word of Haggai again comes, saying: Rise from houses embossed and carved with wickedness, and go up to the mount of heavenly Scriptures and hew the tree of wisdom, the tree of life and the tree of knowledge. Make straight your ways, order your actions so that they may have due order which is necessary and useful for building the house of God.” (Letter 80)

O God,
Who founded all the commands
of Your sacred Law
upon love of You and of our neighbor,
grant that, by keeping Your precepts,
we may merit to attain eternal life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
Who lives and reigns with You
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen


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