A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Restoring the temple

Today’s readings both involve the restoration of the ancient Temple of the Lord, albeit in different ways.

In the first reading (1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59) Judas Maccabees and his brothers initiate the rededication of the Temple and its altar, following a period of strife and profanation. This event continues to be celebrated today with the Jewish feast of Hanukkah.

In the Gospel (Luke 19:45-48), our Lord throws out of the Temple merchants who had set up shop within its precincts.

For people in the United States, the day after the traditional overeating of Thanksgiving and the day notorious for the busiest shopping day of the year, the readings have some special aspects of timely resonance: a day to cleanse the temple of our bodies through a resolution of good exercise and eating habits following yesterday’s overindulgence and also a day to recall that “the reason for the season” is not the materialism and commercialism that has overrun the approach to the celebration of our Lord’s birth at Christmas.

Most importantly, however, today’s readings call us to take this opportunity to restore the temple which is our soul, the place within ourselves in which we seek God through prayer: to ask the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse our souls of the strife, the profanation, and the materialism with which we have filled ourselves and to fill us with the peace and power of his Holy Spirit.