Reflection on Haggai 2:1-10

“In the four and twentieth day of the month, in the sixth month, in the second year of Darius the king, they began. And in the seventh month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Aggeus the prophet, saying: Speak to Zorobabel the son of Salathiel the governor of Juda, and to Jesus the son of Josedec the high priest, and to the rest of the people, saying: Who is left among you, that saw this house in its first glory? and how do you see it now? is it not in comparison to that as nothing in your eyes? Yet now take courage, O Zorobabel, saith the Lord, and take courage, O Jesus the son of Josedec the high priest, and take courage, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord of hosts: and perform (for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts) The word that I covenanted with you when you came out of the land of Egypt: and my spirit shall be in the midst of you: fear not. For thus saith the Lord of hosts: Yet one little while, and I will move the heaven and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land. And I will move all nations: and the desired of all nations shall come: and I will fill this house with glory: saith the Lord of hosts. The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts. Great shall be the glory of this last house more than of the first, saith the Lord of hosts: and in this place I will give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Haggai 2:1-10)

Literal Sense: Those who came back to the promised land from exile were instructed to rebuild the Temple of the LORD.  They did so in the second year of King Darius.  God, through the Prophet Haggai, noted that those who saw Solomon’s temple before the exile would look upon the new Temple and see that it was wanting in appearance compared to Solomon’s Temple.  Yet, God assures them, this temple will be more glorious than Solomon’s Temple because He will fill it with glory.  The reason the post exilic temple was more glorious than Solomon’s Temple is because the Lord Himself, Christ Jesus, will visit it.

Allegorical Sense: As Solomon’s Temple was more beautiful in appearance than the post exilic temple yet the latter was more glorious than the first, so it is that Adam seemed to be perfect outwardly, as He was clothed in light, yet it is the Second Adam, Christ Jesus, who though outwardly did not seem glorious (Isaiah 53:2), was more glorious than the first Adam, since the Second Adam was sinless, while the first Adam sinned.

Moral Sense: This serves as instruction to remind us not to judge someone by their outward appearances but by their interior virtues.  Though there are many who seem to be glorious in outward appearance, their hearts are dark and though there are many who seem to be ignoble in appearance, their hearts may be more beautiful than the angels in heaven.  For instance, St. Francis of Assisi, prior to His conversion, was known for his extravagant appearance, as his father was a wealthy merchant.  Once he exchanged his clothes for the clothes of a beggar, he undoubtedly seemed unpleasant as far as his appearance was concerned.  If one had simply judged St. Francis by his outward appearance then they would have judged the former man to have been a great man and the latter man to have been repulsive.  Yet, how much more glorious was the latter St. Francis than the former St. Francis because of the latter’s interior virtues and disposition?

Anagogical Sense: Prior to Christ, the people of God, the nation of Israel, might have seemed to be glorious by their outward appearance, yet inwardly they were repulsive.  Now that Christ has come, God’s people, the Church (the true Israel), may not always seem to be glorious in outward appearance, yet since Christ has visited the temple of their bodies, as he visited the post exilic temple, the latter people of God will eternally be more glorious than the former people of God.

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