November 24 2017 – 33rd Week of the Church Year
Saint for the day: Saint Andrew dung-lac-and companions (1791 Decmber – 1862)
1 Maccabees 4:36 …59 – 1 Chronicles 29 …59 – Luke 19:45-48
The first Scripture reading gives us the basis of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah. Follow this “link” Hanukkah origins and practices to read the short story of this celebration.
”With today’s first scripture reading before us we can see how part of our journey with/to God involves constant re-dedication and renewal. We can’t just land in God’s presence and let it end there. Today’s Holy Gospel shows us that we can’t just passively worship God – sort of in a “status quo” mode but need to be attentive of the things that might have crept in without our really being aware of what’s happening.
It’s another reminder to us that God is constantly renewing and re-building His presence – His Temple – in our lives. That’s why – when some enthusiastic evangelical person asks me if I know when I accepted Jesus as my personal savior – I always answer, “why, just this morning when I got up and spent some time thanking God for His grace that brought me to the beginning of another day!” We can never just look back to some, albeit holy and spiritual event, and think that’s all we need to do.
The last verse of today’s response supports our continual need for renewal: “You have dominion over all, in your hand are power and might; it is yours to give grandeur and strength to all.” (1 Chronicles 29:12)
Today’s celebration also helps us see that we need to have balance in the way we give God the honor due His name. Whenever we come to a point of renewal in our lives we often go overboard and let some of the externals get more attention than the spiritual reality of God dwelling within.
Yes! The Jews rebuilt the Temple and re-newed its grandeur. Yet they, like so many of us, went overboard and forgot that all the beauty of the Temple was a means to an end. Not an end in itself.
Our own Catholic Church hasn’t always kept this in balance, either. And that’s why we need continual reminders of what’s really going on in our Christian Journey. The mystics and saints of old would talk about a daily exam of ones status before God in order to keep their eyes focused – more on the end rather than on the means to an end. Let us always be eager to keep this “Temple of the Lord” – our very bodies – as a dwelling place of God and a house of prayer and not a den of thieves.” Amen!