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From: Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

The Spring in the Temple

[1] Then he brought me back to the door of the temple; and behold, water was is-
suing from below the threshold of the temple toward the east (for the temple faced
east); and the water was flowing down from below the south end of the threshold
of the temple, south of the altar. [2] Then he brought me out by way of the north
gate, and led me round on the outside to the outer gate, that faces toward the
east; and the water was coming out on the south side.

[8] And he said to me, “This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down
into the Arabah; and when it enters the stagnant waters of the sea, the water will
become fresh. [9] And wherever the river goes every living creature which swarms
will live, and there will be very many fish; for this water goes there, that the waters
of the sea may become fresh; so everything will live where the river goes.

[12] And on the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees
for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit
every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will
be for food, and their leaves for healing.”


47:1-12. The vision of the spring revitalizing everything it meets on its flowing
from the southern end of the way, is one of the most striking images temple and
ending up in the Dead Sea, in the book. Its content is reminiscent of the vision
of the bones (37:1-14): there, it was the Spirit that gave life to the dry bones; here,
the water refreshes the dead waters. The image of the river reminds one of how in
paradise (Gen 2:10-14) the four branches of the river make the whole garden beau-
tiful; here, a single river actually gives life. Although the vision contains references
to actual places, such as the oasis of En-gedi (v. 10), the Dead Sea or the Arabah,
it is symbolic and what it shows is that the renewal of the temple and its worship
will bring all sorts of advantages to the whole people.

There is an echo of this vision in the New Testament in the words of Jesus recor-
ded by St John: “If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes
in me, as the scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water’”
(Jn 7:37). Early Christian tradition links this text of St John with Ezekiel’s vision,
seeing in the spring in the temple the waters of Baptism that flow from Christ who
is life, or from Christ’s side on the altar of the cross: We go down to the water’s
edge steeped in our sins and impurity, and we walk out of the water, our hearts
filled with grace, fear of the Lord and hope in Jesus” (”Epistula Barnabae” 11, 10).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

3 posted on 11/08/2019 11:03:21 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: All

From: 1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17

Apostolic Ministry (continuation)

[9] For we are God’s building.

[10] According to the commission of God given to me, like a skilled master buil-
der I laid a foundation, and another man is building upon it. [11] For no other foun-
dation can any one lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

[16] Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in
you? [17] If any one destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s tem-
ple is holy, and that temple you are.


9. “God’s field, God’s building”. The Second Vatican Council uses these images
to describe the inner nature of the Church: “The Church is a cultivated field, the
tillage of God (cf. 1 Cor 3:9). on that land the ancient olive tree grows whose holy
roots were the prophets and in which the reconciliation of Jews and Gentiles has
been brought about and will be brought about again (Rom 11:13-26). That land,
like a choice vineyard, has been planted by the heavenly cultivator (Mt 21:33-43;
cf. Is 5:1f). Yet the true vine is Christ who gives life and fruitfulness to the bran-
ches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ without whom we
can do nothing (Jn 15:1-5).

“Often, too, the Church is called the building of God (1 Cor 3:9). The Lord com-
pared himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into
the cornerstone (Mt 21:42; cf. Acts 4:11; 1 Pet 2:7; Ps 117:22). on this founda-
tion the Church is built by the Apostles (cf. 1 Cor 3:11) and from it the Church
receives solidity and unity. This edifice has many names to describe it — the
house of God in which his family dwells; the household of God in the Spirit (Eph
2:19:22); the dwelling-place of God among men (Rev 21:3); and, especially, the
holy temple. This temple, symbolized in places of worship built out of stone, is
praised by the Fathers and, not without reason, is compared in the liturgy to the
Holy City, the New Jerusalem. As living stones we here on earth are built into it
(1 Pet 2:5). It is this holy city that is seen by John as it comes down out of hea-
ven from God when the world is made anew, prepared like a bride adorned for
her husband (Rev 21:1f)” (”Lumen Gentium”, 6).

The Lord wants Christians to be living stones in this building and has associated
them in the redemptive task of saving all mankind, so that in the course of their
own redemption they might also be co-redeemers with him, completing “what is
lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church” (Col 1:
24): “Jesus has wanted every person to cooperate freely in the work of redemp-
tion [...]. The work of salvation is still going on, and each one of us has a part in
it [...]. It is worth while putting our lives on the line, giving ourselves completely,
so as to answer to the love and the confidence that God has placed in us. It is
worth while, above all, to decide to take our Christian faith seriously” (St. J. Es-
criva, “Christ Is Passing By”, 129).

10-11. With a solemn introduction (”According to the commission of God given
to me”, which equipped him for his ministry), St Paul identifies what holds toge-
ther the community at Corinth and its individual members — Jesus Christ, the es-
sential basis for every spiritual building. Christ, as St Peter reminds us, is “the
stone which was rejected by you builders, but which has become the head of
the corner. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name un-
der heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11-12).

Therefore, all genuine catechesis must be Christ-centered; it must all be focused
on Jesus Christ, perfect God and perfect man, and on his teachings. Catechesis,
says Bl. John Paul II, means “to reveal in the Person of Christ the whole of God’s
eternal design reaching fulfillment in that Person. It is to seek to understand the
meaning of Christ’s actions and words and of the signs worked by him, for they
simultaneously hide and reveal his mystery. Accordingly, the definitive aim of
catechesis is to put people not only in touch but in communion, in intimacy, with
Jesus Christ; only he can lead us to the love of the Father in the Spirit and make
us share in the life of the Holy Trinity [...]. We must therefore say that in cateche-
sis it is Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God, who is taught — everything
else is taught with reference to him — and it is Christ alone who teaches — any-
one else teaches to the extent that he is Christ’s spokesman, enabling Christ to
teach with his lips” (”Catechesi Tradendae”, 5-6).

Also, reflection on the fact that Jesus Christ is the foundation of the spiritual buil-
ding, leads to the conclusion that a Christian “needs to be not only linked to Je-
sus Christ,” St John Chrysostom points out, “but to adhere to him, to be finally
attached to him: to be separated from him to the least degree is to be lost [...].
Notice all the comparisons the Apostle makes to explain this intimate unity: Je-
sus Christ is the head, we the body, for there can be no gap between head and
body. He is the foundation, we the building; he is the vine, we the branches; he
the spouse, we the bride; he is the shepherd, we the flock; he is the way along
which we are to travel; we are the temple, and God dwells therein; he is the first-
born, we his brethren; he is the heir and we co-heirs; he is life and we have life
through him; he is the resurrection and we men are raised up; he is the light by
which our darkness is dispelled” (”Hom. on 1 Cor”, 8, “ad loc.”).

16-17. These words apply to the individual Christian, and to the Church as a
whole (cf. note on 1 Corinthians 3:9). The simile of the Church as God’s temple,
frequently used by St. Paul (cf. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 6:16), shows
that the Holy Trinity dwells in the soul in grace. As Leo XIII reminds us, by means
of grace God dwells in the just soul as in a temple, in a special and intimate man-
ner” (”Divinum Illud Munus” 10). Although this indwelling is attributed to the Holy
Spirit (cf. John 14:17; 1 Corinthians 6:19), it really comes about through the pre-
sence of the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, because all actions of God
which terminate outside God Himself (activities “ad extra”) are to be seen as ac-
tions of the one, unique divine nature.

This sublime mystery which we could never have suspected, was revealed by
Jesus Christ Himself: “The Spirit of truth [...] dwells with you, and will be in you
[...]. If a man loves me, he will keep My word and My Father will love him, and
We will come to him, and make Our home with him” (John 14:17-23). Although
this is a matter which we never plumb in this life, some light is thrown on it if we
remember that “the Divine Persons are said to inhabit as much as they are pre-
sent to intellectual creatures in a way that transcends human comprehension,
and are known and loved (cf. “Summa Theologiae”, I, q. 43, a. 3) by them, yet
in a way that is unique, purely supernatural, and in the deepest sanctuary of the
soul” (Pius XII, “Mystici Corporis, Dz-Sch”, 35).

Reflection on this wonderful fact will help us to realize how extremely important
it is to live in the grace of God, and to have a horror of mortal sin, which “dest-
roys God’s temple,” depriving the soul of God’s grace and friendship.

Moreover, through this indwelling a human being begins to receiving an inkling of
what the Beatific Vision — Heaven — will be like, for “this admirable union [of in-
dwelling] differs only by virtue of man’s [present] condition and state from union
whereby God fills the blessed [in Heaven]” (”Divinum Illud Munus”, 11).

The presence of the Trinity in the soul in grace invites the Christian to try to have
a more personal and direct relationship with God, whom we can seek at every
moment in the depths of our souls: “Get to know the Holy Spirit, the Great Stran-
ger, on whom depends your sanctification. Don’t forget that you are God’s temple.
The Advocate is in the center of your soul: listen to Him and be docile to His in-
spirations” (St. J. Escriva, “The Way”, 57).

Source: “The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries”. Biblical text from the
Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries by members of
the Faculty of Theology, University of Navarre, Spain.

Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland, and
by Scepter Publishers in the United States.

4 posted on 11/08/2019 11:04:12 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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