Posted by: fvbcdm | August 14, 2014

Feast of Saint Maximilian Kolbe (14 August 2014)

In the Book of Exodus, we hear about the construction of the first “Tent of Meeting,” as it was called, some thirty-three centuries ago. After God had led his people out of bondage in Egypt, he wished to form them into a coherent nation—a special people with a strong sense of identity, political oneness, and above all, a religion which he himself would reveal to them, to be expressed by a beautifully formulated system of worship which we call “liturgy.”  They were to build a tent which could be pitched wherever they stopped, and then carried with them went they traveled. In that tent, there would be one compartment called the Holy of Holies, in which a box would be placed containing the tablets of the law, some of the manna which fell on the desert floor each day for them to eat, and the staff by which Moses parted the waters of the Red Sea. That box was called “the Ark of the Covenant.”

Later, when they had been solidly established in the Promised Land, the tent would be replaced by a temple, built by King Solomon, which in turn was to be followed by another temple built after the destruction of the first temple by the enemies of Israel. One day, after Jesus had driven the money-changers and merchants out of the temple since their presence in God=s house was not appropriate to a place of worship, the Jewish leaders objected to his acting as if he had some authority over the temple. He said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will rebuild it.” That really upset them; King Herod had been working on the gradual enlargement and beautification of the temple for forty-six years, and he was going to rebuild it in three days? The gospel writer tells us that he was referring to his own body.

Now, why the change of subjects so abruptly? How does Jesus go from a discussion of the temple in Jerusalem to his own resurrection in the same conversation. He really wasn’t changing the subject. The temple was the place of meeting—where man met God.  In the new covenant, man would no longer meet God in this or that place of worship or town or city. Rather, the human race would meet God in the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the temple of the new covenant. Jesus is THE temple of the New Testament, and then he allows us to become living temples by the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in our persons. A wonderfully rich heritage and concept stretching back from you and me to Moses and the Hebrew people thirteen centuries before the time of Jesus. Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This Message was composed some years ago.

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