Grace to you!
A wealthy man promised to build a home for his brother. He had a plan and built the house to his taste. The house was big, dotted with the best of decorative and high-end finishings. He thought to himself: "My brother will love this home."
Unfortunately, when in the company of his wealthy associates, he invited his brother to show them the house and hand over the keys to him. He was surprised his brother didn't show as much excitement as he expected.
His brother, who was never consulted from the time of the planning to the actual building of the house, could be accused of anything—from being an ingrate, to being unkind or even greedy. But his explanation was subtle: “You built your home for me.”
His brother, who lives a modest life, could hardly call that place a home. For him, it’s simply a house or a home for his wealthy brother, not for him.
When people look for a home, they aren’t simply looking for a house. They want a place they feel at home, a place that has a portion of their personality and identity. In our Catholic ritual for the blessing of homes, we pray that such a house will become a home for those who live in it.
Surprised, why in building a tent for the Lord, God himself gave Moses precise instructions with details of how the tent must be built (Exodus 40:1-24). Verse 16 says that Moses did exactly as the Lord commanded. He built the Dwelling following God's specific instructions.
I find this particularly interesting. The “House of God”, God’s Dwelling, must have the signature of God himself. Otherwise, Moses would be building his own home, not God’s.
Often, we tend to do our own thing or, at least, suppose we have a better idea of what a church building should be. Shouldn’t the House of God, a place of prayer and worship, reflect an art of reverence? Should it be like our recreational centers?
One thing I have observed about those who grow more in the spiritual life is that they do not take God's word for granted. They honor every word that comes from the mount of the Lord.
Second, they have a unique sense of reverence (piety) for the things of the Lord, even so for the house of the Lord. When they want to build a church, or are part of the building of a church, they try to reflect the reverence that such a place must be accorded.
Certainly, we are God's Dwelling place on earth. As Saint Paul said, we are “the temple of the Holy Spirit.” (I Cor 6:19). Nonetheless, a church building too is a special Dwelling Place where the Lord meets with His people in a unique way. A church with the Blessed Sacrament in it is, indeed, where the Lord has made a unique home.
Praying for increased reverence in churches and during liturgy. Amen
God love you. God bless you.
Fr. Maurice Emelu
[Thursday Week 17 Ordinary Time A: Ex 40:16-21, 34-38; Mt 13:47-53]
Fr. Maurice Emelu, Ph.D.
Father Maurice provides a daily blog of reflections based on Scriptural 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.