Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The loftier the building, the deeper must the foundation be laid

Clearly the person who accepts the Church as an infallible guide will believe whatever the Church teaches." -- Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Roman Catholic philosopher

Gospel text (Jn 2:13-22): As the Passover of the Jews was at hand, Jesus went up to Jerusalem . In the Temple court He found merchants selling oxen, sheep and doves, and money-changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the Temple court, together with the oxen and sheep. He knocked over the tables of the money-changers, scattering the coins, and ordered the people selling doves, «Take all this away and stop turning my Father's house into a marketplace!». His disciples recalled the words of Scripture: ‘Zeal for your House devours me as a fire’.

The Jews then questioned Jesus, «Where are the miraculous signs which give you the right to do this?». And Jesus said, «Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up». The Jews then replied, «The building of this temple has already taken forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days?». Actually, Jesus was referring to the temple of his body. Only when He had risen from the dead, did his disciples remember these words; then they believed both the Scripture and the words Jesus had spoken.

God's plan of salvation is to build a new temple, "an edifice of spirit" (1 Pt 2:5), the Church. This temple is not built with inanimate stones, but living ones. Jesus is "a living Stone, rejected by men but approved, nonetheless, and precious in God's eyes" (1 Pt 2:4). He is the Foundation Stone (1 Cor 3:11) and the Cornerstone (1 Pt 2:6-7). The apostles and prophets are also living stones and part of the temple's foundation (Eph 2:20-22). In a special way, the apostle Peter and his successors are a rock on which Jesus decided to build this new temple, the Church (Mt 16:18).

We "too are living stones." We can decide to become part of "this temple, to become a dwelling place for God in the Spirit" (Eph 2:22), or we can be co-opted into being part of one of the devil's strongholds (see 2 Cor 10:4). We decide to become part of the Church by believing in Jesus and His word (1 Pt 2:7-8). We express this faith by being baptized and living our baptisms in our day to day lives. This means we witness for Jesus to lead others to Him and to His Church. We work to build up the Church and live in the community of the Church. We are faithful members of the Catholic Church through our dioceses, of our dioceses through our parishes, and of our parishes through our small communities.

Jesus is the building—the foundation upon which we must live. Today we might ask ourselves: “What are the “temples” in our lives? Are those “temples” leading us to God? Are we reverencing the temple of our own, unique selves?”

Love the Church and be a faithful member of the Church, it is your true home and your inheritance.

No comments:

Post a Comment