Posted by: livingscripture | November 9, 2014

Thirty-second Sunday – Dedication of the Lateran Basilica

From the Word of the Day

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.’  The Jews said, ‘This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and you will raise it up in three days!’  But he was speaking about the temple of his Body.  Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scriptures and the word Jesus had spoken.”

 (John 2: 20-22)  

How should we live this Word jesus_throne_1[1]

These verses are the most important of today’s Gospel.  The provocative gesture of Jesus, described so vividly by John, is meant to contest the mercenary religious scheme at the basis of a multi-century and popular tradition that had made His Father’s house a marketplace.  In fact, the fundamental idea was to pay something in return for God’s divine favor.  It was founded on a kind of market mentality.  Jesus announces a radical change that definitively overcomes this mentality.

John tells us that only after the Resurrection would the disciples understand the real meaning of this act.  The temple of God’s dwelling is now identified with the Body of the Risen One.  His Person is the true temple of God.  This is why the episode is located close to the Paschal Feast.  God’s temple is no longer a physical place where salvation is bought but a theological place of the very Person of the Savior who gratuitously gives salvation to those who believe in Him.  It is a radical change of perspective which does not abolish the temple, but brings it to fulfillment in its highest meaning according to the Biblical design of God’s Word centered on the Risen Christ.

The ancient sacred idea of the temple is no longer shared by the primitive Church or by the most ancient Fathers.  In today’s second reading, Paul asserts that every Christian is a living and holy stone that contributes to build the spiritual temple…the Christian community.

Today as I pause for silent contemplation, I will adore Jesus and thank Him for making me a living part of His Body, the Church. 

Lord, help me to be a truly holy stone in the temple of Your Body. 

The voice of St. Ignatius of Antioch, Bishop and Martyr

You are stones of the temple of the Father, prepared in view of the construction of God the Father, elevated on high by means of the machine which is the Cross of Jesus Christ, using the Holy Spirit as the rope.  Your faith is the guide that brings you on high, while love is the way that raises you toward God.

 

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