One Monk of the Order of Saint Benedict

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The Word of God and the Body of God reveal each other -- the homily worships both.

November 23, 2007

For Friday of the Thirty-Third Ordinary Week of the Church Year

Luke 19:45-48
1 Maccabees 4:36-37,52-59

In the first reading, less than two hundred years before Christ, the people of God have taken back his Temple from the foreign thieves who had made God’s sacred temple into a den of idol worship.
Killing the enemies of God, his people celebrated the reconsecration of his Temple and the renewal of his holy worship there.
Two hundred years later, Christ Jesus, the Son of God, violently takes back his Temple again from those who have again made it a den of thieves.
However, rather than set up anew the true worship of God his Father, Jesus sets himself up in the Temple of God as a teacher of God’s people.
He did not disturb the sacrifices, because they were for his Father and were commanded by his Father.
It was not yet the day for the Eucharistic Sacrifice of Jesus to fulfill the older sacrifices.
Jesus respected the ancient sacrifices in the Temple of prayer, but he added to them now his own teaching office.
His Gospel says today that “everyday he was teaching in the temple”— and “all the people were hanging on his words.”
Meanwhile, the chief priests, the scribes, and the leaders of the nation were seeking a means to bring about the death of Jesus.
All of this, in both readings today, is the pattern for our lives in the Church, the pattern of ourselves as Temples of God.
Sin is a foreign invader that would worship idols from within us.
As the people of God, we must work constantly with God to kill the army of sin, and to be reconsecrated constantly as God’s Temples, to renew constantly his holy worship within us.
Perhaps even with violence, we must allow the Son of God into us to drive out the selling and thieving so that prayer again claims its place within us.
As the people of God, and as Temples of God, we must hang on the words of Jesus as he comes every day to teach us both in our personal prayer and through his Gospel in the Sacrificial Liturgy of his Church.
If we do not hang on his words, both here in his Church and in the Church of our daily lives and daily choices, if we do not hang on the words of Jesus, then we let the thieves, and invaders, and all their idolatry back in.
Without hanging on the words of Jesus, we join chief priests, scribes, and governors in putting to death inside our lives both Jesus and his Eucharistic Sacrifice.
Then the Temples of our souls will be empty, torn down, with nothing left but a wailing wall forever.

That God Be Glorified in All


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