Temple Consecration

As the liturgical year draws to a close, we read from the books of the Maccabees and from St. Luke’s account of Christ’s final journey to Jerusalem.

Reading these passages simultaneously sets up a breathtaking drama regarding the Temple. The books of the Maccabees recount a number of great acts of heroic fidelity to the Old Covenant. Above all, the accounts climax with the first Hanukkah, when the Maccabees defeated the Greeks, cleansed the Temple of pagan defilements, and reinstituted the divine service.

The Maccabees had brought off a glorious achievement in the history of God’s covenant with His people. The city of Jerusalem rejoiced. But the story was not over. It was 165 years before the coming of Christ…

No one has ever loved the Temple in Jerusalem more than Jesus of Nazareth loved it. When Christ, too, cleansed the Temple, as Judas Maccabeus had done before Him, the only words that could describe the moment were: “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

But: The Temple of God is not a building.

The Son of God came to reveal many truths, and among them is the fact that God builds His Temple in the hearts of His beloved children.

If we seek the “Holy of Holies” outside ourselves, we will search in vain. The Holy of Holies can only be found where God meets me, where the light shines that distinguishes right from wrong and shows me the path to heaven. In other words, the Holy of Holies can be found in the invisible center of myself, where I pray and submit myself to the truth.

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Altars, Pagan and Christian

First of all, let me say this: To see LeBron get sat-down was…SWEET!

…At Holy Mass, after Communion, when the deacon or priest cleanses the chalice, he says this prayer quietly to himself:

Quod ore sumpsimus, Domine, pura mente capiamus: et de munera temporali fiat nobis remedium sempiternum.

The translation of this Latin sentence which appears in the current English Sacramentary is an utter mush.

But soon we will have a new English-language Missal! This is how the prayer will be translated:

What has passed our lips as food, O Lord, may we possess in purity of heart, that what has been given to us in time may be our healing for eternity.

Beautifully put. Speaking of well-written sentences: I have seen Hamlet many times. I have seen all the movies, and I have seen it on stage probably a half-dozen times.

The other night I saw the best Hamlet I have ever seen. At the Folger Shakespeare Library. (Not the Folger Shakespeare Theatre Company downtown, which is to be avoided like a noxious cesspool.)

The Hamlet at the Library was great. Seeing it restored my faith in the art of Thespis. Ophelia stole the show. The play made sense to me in a new way–as the story of ruined love. Do whatever you can to get a ticket.

…Here is a short Ascension Day homily:

Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by hands, but heaven itself, that He might now appear before God on our behalf. (Hebrews 9:24)

St. Paul traveled the world to teach the Good News. When he went to the pagan city of Athens, he observed the many shrines to the many pagan gods. This moved him to explain the difference between pagan worship and Christian worship.

Continue reading “Altars, Pagan and Christian”

Christ’s Anger, Cardinal Tumi, and N.I.T. Update

cleansingWe recently touched on the subject of Christ driving the greedy merchants and money-changers out of the Temple.

An alert P. & B. D. reader sent your humble Preacher an excellent book chapter which deals with Christ’s zeal for His Father’s house. Here is how the author explains the anger of Christ:

While sin and ignorance found Him ever compassionate and merciful, irreverence towards God aroused Him to stern and terrible anger, for He saw in it the subversion of the order of truth and justice. –Rev. Edward Leen, In the Likeness of Christ.

Cardinal Tumi
Cardinal Tumi
…One of the prelates who has received our Holy Father in Cameroon is the Archbishop of Douala, Christian Cardinal Tumi.

Cardinal Tumi is perhaps the single most impressive human being I have ever encountered in my life.

He came to Washington to speak at our Eucharistic Congress in October of 2000. He has a prodigious mind. He was born and bred to rule. He is truly awesome. Next year he will turn 80.

…I don’t want to jinx anything, but the Hoyas are off to a good start against Baylor–up by nine points after fifteen minutes of play.

Kim Mulkey
Kim Mulkey
Meanwhile, Virginia Tech finally finished off Duquesne after TWO overtimes!

Who says the N.I.T. isn’t cool?

Your servant is obviously pulling for Georgetown over Baylor. But a guy has to admit that the Baylor Ladies’ coach is awfully easy on the eyes.

She is at courtside for the men’s game, and it will be a shame to see her disappointed…

Greedy and Envious? Try Poverty and Love

He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves, as well as the money changers seated there. He made a whip out of cords
and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables…At this the Jews answered and said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?”
(John 2:14-19)

The Lord Jesus drove the greedy merchants and money-changers from the Temple. The Jewish leaders envied Christ’s authority and power. So in the gospel reading, we have seen both greed and envy. These are two of the seven deadly sins.

cleansing
Continue reading “Greedy and Envious? Try Poverty and Love”