Saturday, November 8, 2008
Feast of the Dedication of St. John Lateran (Jn2:13-22)
Today we hear in the scriptures that we are Temples of the Holy Spirit. We have heard this phrase many times in our lives. We have heard many homilies about being Temples of the Holy Spirit. Some of us have even prayed about being Temples of the Holy Spirit. I could speak to you today about the truth of this teaching. I could speak to you today about the many sins that we commit in our thoughts, words, and actions, that are abuses of our bodies and the bodies of others; that are Temples of the Holy Spirit. These sins try to destroy who we are as the Temple of the Holy Spirit. However you have heard all these words before. You have either rejected them or forgot them. It is our problem of forgetting that is our great sin. We forget many things that are good because we forget that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. We forget that we are His Temples. Jesus tells us in St. John’s Gospel that he will give to us His Holy Spirit to remind us of all that He taught us. In the Gospel today we hear that the disciples remembered what Jesus had said (about the Temple being destroyed and raised in three days) after His Resurrection. That is after they had received the Holy Spirit. We focus on the Temple that is our body but ignore the very Person that makes it Holy. That is even in striving for holiness we forget the Holy Spirit. The Spirit who reminds us of all that Jesus has taught. We forget because we are self centered. We forget because we do not want to be inconvenienced. We forget because we are lonely or afraid. We forget because we are hurt or are suffering. We forget because to know and to believe is too hard. We forget because our hearts and our minds are distracted by other things. Even when those distractions are meaningless, we use them to ignore the truth of our life. That is that we are loved by God. The Holy Spirit IS the Love of God. Love demands a Response. With our Response comes Responsibility. We must listen to the Holy Spirit when He reminds us of what Jesus has revealed. We must acknowledge God’s Love and live accordingly. We are not empty shells in which the Spirit decides to take residence. We are human persons and the Holy Spirit is the third Person of the Most Holy Trinity. Therefore to be a Temple of the Holy Spirit is in truth to be a living communion of persons. A communion that is Unforgettable! Our communion with the Holy Spirit draws us into further communion. It is He who draws us to Holy Communion, and finally into communion with our Father in Heaven. This communion in which we become Temples of the Holy Spirit is certainly something worth remembering. In this you are never alone. In this you do not have to be afraid. In this you do not have to distract yourself. In this you will find peace for you will know that you are loved.