I Am with You, Declares the Lord (Haggai 1:13)

Haggai 1:13 says, "Then Haggai, the Lord’s messenger, gave this message of the Lord to the people: ‘I am with you,’ declares the Lord." This reassurance was given to the Israelites who had returned from exile and were tasked with rebuilding the temple. They were discouraged and overwhelmed by the enormity of the task, but God, through Haggai, reminded them that He was with them, providing the strength and encouragement they needed to continue their work. Today, this verse is a powerful reminder that God’s presence is always with us, especially when we face daunting challenges. Just as the Israelites felt overwhelmed by the task of rebuilding, we too often encounter situations that seem beyond our abilities. Whether it is a demanding job, family responsibilities, or personal struggles, we can feel discouraged and unsure of how to move forward. In these moments, God’s declaration, "I am with you," offers us the comfort and strength we need to persevere. Making this re

Thirty-Eighth Day of Lenten Reflection: "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness"

On this thirty-eighth day of Lenten reflection, we meditate on the beatitude, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled" (Matthew 5:6). This profound statement from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount invites us into a deeper longing and pursuit of God's righteousness in our lives.

Lent is traditionally a season marked by fasting, prayer, and almsgiving, disciplines that help us to focus on our spiritual hunger and thirst. Jesus’ words remind us that our deepest need and greatest fulfillment lie in pursuing righteousness — a right relationship with God and a life that reflects His will and character.

To hunger and thirst for righteousness is to deeply desire to live in accordance with God’s laws and to see justice and goodness prevail in our lives and in the world. This longing is not passive but active; it drives us to seek God’s presence, to immerse ourselves in His Word, and to align our actions with His commands. It leads us to be agents of justice and peace, to stand up against injustice, and to live out the values of the Kingdom of God.

Moreover, this beatitude carries a promise: "for they will be filled." This assurance from Jesus is a source of great hope and encouragement. It reminds us that when we seek God and His righteousness, we will not be left wanting. God will satisfy our spiritual hunger and quench our thirst for justice and righteousness. He will provide us with the strength, guidance, and grace we need to live righteously.

This Lenten reflection also challenges us to examine the focus of our desires. In a world that often promotes the pursuit of material gain, personal success, and immediate gratification, Jesus calls us to desire something greater — His righteousness. This season of Lent provides an opportunity to realign our priorities and affections, placing our desire for God’s righteousness above all else.

As we continue through these last days of Lenten reflection, let us cultivate a deep hunger and thirst for God’s righteousness. May this longing shape our prayers, our actions, and our attitudes. And as we pursue righteousness, may we experience the fulfillment and blessing that come from living in close communion with God, confident in His promise to fill us with His presence and grace.

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