Father David's Reflection for Tuesday of Week Twenty-Five (Ordinary Time)
The Responsorial Psalm is: “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122).
Ezra 6: 7-20 reports the dedication of the rebuilt temple in Jerusalem. This was the work of the whole community: “the family heads of Judah and Benjamin and the priests and Levites — everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so” (Ezra 1:5).
This is the work to which each member of the Church is called. But the temple we are building is the Church itself, made of “living stones”: “Do you not know that you are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you?... For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple” (1Corinthians 3: 16-17; see 1Peter 2:5; John 2: 14-22).
So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. In him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord; in whom you also are built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God (Ephesians 2: 19-22).
In this work each one of us is both responsible and gifted: “The gifts he gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers…” but all our gifts are for the same purpose: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4: 11-13). This is a labor of love and of joy: “I rejoiced when I heard them say: let us go to [and let us build!] the house of the Lord.”
In Luke 8: 19-21 Jesus affirms the mystery of our identification with himself. When someone told him, “Your mother and brothers wish to see you.” Jesus’ answer was: “My mother and brothers are those who hear the word of God and act on it.”
Jesus is declaring a mystery here. Those who live by his words are not just his faithful followers, or just disciples (students) who try to learn and live by everything he taught. We can be followers and disciples of any human teacher. But if we live by Christ’s words we become Christ. His Father becomes our Father. We become filii in Filio, true “sons and daughters in the Son.” For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (Matthew 12:50 ).
As children of the Father, we take responsibility for our Father’s house. When we see abuses, then, like Jesus, we act against them (John 2: 13-22). As children of the Father we are mandated and empowered to do so.
Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Take action to restore your Father’s house.