The Temple

Brothers and sisters:
You are God’s building.
According to the grace of God given to me,
like a wise master builder I laid a foundation,
and another is building upon it.
But each one must be careful how he builds upon it,
for no one can lay a foundation other than the one that is there,
namely, Jesus Christ.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God,
and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
If anyone destroys God’s temple,
God will destroy that person;
for the temple of God, which you are, is holy.
(1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17)  

 

Scripture Study

3:16 you are God’s temple: The Temple in Jerusalem was still standing when this verse was written (a.d. 56). In Paul’s mind the stone sanctuary of the Old Covenant had been replaced by the living body of Christ in the New. He viewed this mystery in three dimensions: the body of every individual Christian is a temple (6:19); the body of every local Church is a temple (3:17); and the body of the universal Church is a temple (Eph 2:19–22).

3:17 If any one destroys: The final scenario outlined in Paul’s building metaphor: careful builders will receive a heavenly reward (3:14); careless builders will pass through purging fires on their way to salvation (3:15); and destructive workers will themselves be destroyed (3:17).[1]

Reflection

“. . . you are the temple of God . . .”

Next time you are at Mass, say to yourself as you prepare to receive the precious Body and Blood of Christ, “I am the Temple of God.” And as you return to your pew, reflect on the reality that you are truly at this point the ‘temple’ that is housing the Lord Jesus Christ.

Reflection on this wonderful fact will help you realize how extremely important it is to live in the grace of God, and to have a horror of mortal sin, which “destroys God’s temple,” depriving the soul of God’s grace and friendship. Moreover, through this indwelling, we begin to receive an inkling of what heaven will be like.

The presence of the Trinity in the soul in grace invites all Christians to seek a more personal and direct relationship with God, whom we can seek at every moment in the depths of our souls: “Don’t forget that you are God’s temple. The Advocate is in the center of your soul; listen to him and be obedient to his inspirations” (St Josemaría Escrivá, The Way, 57).

May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.

 

 

[1] The Ignatius Catholic Study Bible: The New Testament (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2010), 289.