Grace to you!
One of the ways to recognize people who are devout is the tender sentiment they have towards things of God. When the things of God are violated, they feel the pain and readily are available to make things better. They are gracious in dealing with people also, seeing them as God’s children.
I read the purifying of the temple in Jerusalem by Judas Maccabeus, his brothers and the army of Judah, as recorded in the First Book of Maccabees chapter four, and I feel their holy desire and sense of worship.
The temple was defiled when King Antiochus and his delegates established another form of worship not in line with Jewish worship, and enthroned what the Jews called the Abomination (more on that in the next reflection). We learn from this story how the people of the second century BC cherished and revered the temple of the Lord.
You may want to read the story and pay attention to the details of their holy piety.
As I read the story, I’m reminded of the temple of the Lord which is my body. Establishing an abomination in my temple, my body, is introducing anything that does not glorify God in my body. You know what those are, don’t you? We’ll see to it shortly.
I love the theology of the body as championed by Saint Pope John Paul II. It shows why the body is precious and deserves being taken care of properly. Purity of the body is an essential aspect of the purity of the soul and spirit.
Healthy food, balanced diet, exercising, sound sleep and feeling well rested; keeping to the purity of sexual life and intimacy; preventing toxics, such as smoke and hard drugs into our system, etc.; these are ways to keep this temple holy and pure.
For instance, you’ll notice when you’re over weight, it affects everything—your work ethics, your rest, your prayer life, etc. You change your wardrobe. Those best cloths that fit may not be useful again. You feel less confident about yourself. No need to feel that way. You have the answer, lose weight. Take care of the body.
Scripture tells us the best way: Honoring God in our body (1 Cor 6:19-20). Honoring God in our body as described here is moral and spiritual purity. It is also about health hygiene. It’s about a healthy body in a healthy soul.
God has given us this body. It is precious. You may not like how one part or another of your body may look. Nonetheless, it’s the best possible way you’re made and you’re beautiful.
Action plan: If there is any thing in my life that has become a stumbling block to my spiritual health, this is the time to clean it out and live the joy of holiness.
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Friday Week 33A: 1 Mc 4:36-37, 52-59; Lk 19:45-48]
Fr. Maurice Emelu
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on the bible readings of the day from the Catholic liturgical calendar. You will find these reflections helpful for your spiritual growth, inspiration and developing your own thoughts. It may also be helpful for ministers in preparing their sermons for liturgical celebrations.