S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, March 18, 2006

How Lovely is Your Dwelling Place...

This Third Sunday of Lent, the Church presents to us the Gospel passage of Jesus cleansing the temple. In all of the Gospels, Jesus was only portrayed as furious in this account. Perhaps we can ask ourselves what could have driven Jesus to such fury. Jesus was furious simply because the people made His Father's house a den of thieves; they have turned it into a marketplace (John 2:16). The temple, a sacred place, has now become a place of vipers. Respect and love are no longer shown and extended to the temple.

Bringing it into our context, Jesus will have the same reaction if he were here this very moment. He will be furious no longer for the physical temple, but for the spiritual temple -- our very selves. Many a times we have allowed ourselves to become a "place of vipers;" many times we have enslaved our very sacred bodies to sin. The Church teaches us that our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit, God's lovely dwelling place. But have we really exerted all effort to preserve the sanctity of our bodies? Or do we easily give in to the sins of the flesh?

So as we enter more deeply into the season of Lent, we can ask ourselves whether we do sanctify or desecrate our bodies, the temples of Jesus' Spirit. Lent is the right time for us to look back, reflect, and repent. If there is one invitation that Jesus would wish to extend to us, it is repentance -- contrite and sincere. Perhaps you are invited to go to the Sacrament of Reconciliation (confession) and receive the forgiveness of God...


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