First Reading: Haggai 2:1-9
In the second year of King Darius, on the twenty-first day of the seventh month, the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: Tell this to the governor of Judah, Zerubbabel, son of Shealtiel, and to the high priest Joshua, son of Jehozadak, and to the remnant of the people: Who is left among you that saw this house in its former glory? And how do you see it now? Does it not seem like nothing in your eyes? But now take courage, Zerubbabel, says the LORD, and take courage, Joshua, high priest, son of Jehozadak, And take courage, all you people of the land, says the LORD, and work! For I am with you, says the LORD of hosts. This is the pact that I made with you when you came out of Egypt, And my spirit continues in your midst; do not fear! For thus says the LORD of hosts: One moment yet, a little while, and I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, And I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD of hosts. Mine is the silver and mine the gold, says the LORD of hosts. Greater will be the future glory of this house than the former, says the LORD of hosts; And in this place I will give you peace, says the LORD of hosts!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 43:1, 2, 3, 4
Hope in God; I will praise him, my savior and my God. Do me justice, O God, and fight my fight against a faithless people; from the deceitful and impious man rescue me. For you, O God, are my strength. Why do you keep me so far away? Why must I go about in mourning, with the enemy oppressing me? Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on And bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place. Then will I go in to the altar of God, the God of my gladness and joy; Then will I give you thanks upon the harp, O God, my God!
Gospel: Luke 9:18-22
Once when Jesus was praying in solitude, and the disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, ‘One of the ancient prophets has arisen.’” Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said in reply, “The Christ of God.” He rebuked them and directed them not to tell this to anyone. He said, “The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.”
God does not dig for treasure, He shakes it out. I love the visual that today's First Reading gives us.
"I will shake the heavens and the earth, the sea and the dry land. I will shake all the nations, and the treasures of all the nations will come in, And I will fill this house with glory, says the LORD."
I just see God giving the world a little shake and all these people come tossing out and God gathers them all to fill His house with glory. His treasures.
We are all treasured by God. But in a special and intimate way, God especially treasures women. We are given the title "crown of creation" because we are the beautiful crown that sits on top of all of God's proud creations. The last and most perfect thing He breathed life into existence. We should walk around with this title proudly, knowing that every part of what makes us unique both inside and out is perfect, worthy of a crown, and treasured. Wow, the confidence I would strut around with if I just plastered that message solidly on my heart and was reminded hourly of that truth. Isn't so ironic that our crosses and our sins fog our minds and hearts and attack that very truth?! Don't we as woman especially suffer from our vanity, not ever being good enough, not every being satisfied, always comparing, always envious of another?! We are all treasures. We are all treasured.
All of us ALSO possess a treasure. Something specific, unique, different from every single created soul, something made by the Creator. We are given this treasure by God to offer it to the world, even if sometimes we cling to it such that we need to have it shaken out of us. If given away, this treasure can shine so brightly as if our own individualized beacon, calling people to Christ.
The hardest thing about giving away our treasure is the vulnerability that accompanies this action. It's our Achilles heel. Vulnerability can be a hard task to overcome because we are good stuffers . . . we stuff down our emotions and true feelings down deep, and somewhere down there is most likely your treasure too. We need to dig down deep, air out all those emotions, let them go, find our treasure, dust it off, and share it with the world. Wake up, shake up, and let it go.
Let's let it sink in that we are treasured. Let's be vulnerable. Let's share our treasure.
Cassie Kent is a wife, mom to two kiddos, loves to get a little crafty and even throws a monthly party celebrating the beauty of creativity. You can find out more about her here.