Saturday, April 30, 2016
Blowing Hole, and I don't mean me!
In tomorrow's readings John had a vision as well, a much grander vision than my own. In his vision though he says this unique phrase that shows his eyes were opened to something that is world changing, at least to me. "I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb." How astounding that must have been to the people reading this document. The temple was the center of Jewish worship.. it was where God was... he lived in the temple. Everyone journeyed to Jerusalem to offer their sacrifice and to be close to their God... yet here John is indicating a change of things.. The temple is the God and the Lamb. How confusing this image must have been to the monotheistic religion that they practiced. To accept that statement required a lot of faith, especially to those who connected the Lamb to a person.. Jesus. How could God's temple be a person?
Yet that's exactly what we are challenged to believe in the Gospel isn't it? "“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him." St. Paul takes this even further by indicating that you and I are the temple of God. Wow... imagine that rocking statement for a moment. That we will be the resting place, the place where God will live.. the place where worship will take place will be internal, in our souls, in our bodies. It requires something though... many will tell you that all we have to do is believe right? That it's faith alone.... yet if we take this scripture seriously, Christ indicates we must keep His word to become the temple.
For Catholics, that becomes very evident when we read John chapter 6. That is the Bread of Life Discourse... if we keep Jesus word, he will come and dwell in us. Whoever eats his flesh and drinks his blood... has life. The Eucharist is the key to being that temple. Jesus told us to do it... he gave us the words, the actions... and he said if we keep those words, he will dwell with in us... then we walk forward and receive Jesus Christ, body, soul and divinity, in the consecrated Host and he comes to dwell in us. Do you take that seriously? This is why so many people worry about being irreverent in the communion line.. about dressing well for Mass... about silence in the Sanctuary. Not because Christ doesn't accept us for who we are.. but because we are temples... are we acting like it? Are we keeping them presentable? When we go forward to receive Christ into this meager temple, are we disposed to receive that grace? Or are we just punching a card?
His servant and yours,
"He must increase, I must decrease."