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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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To: All

From: John 2:13-22

The Cleansing of the Temple

[13] The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
[14] In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons,
and the money-changers at their business. [15] And making a whip of cords, he
drove them all, with the sheep and oxen, out of the temple; and he poured out
the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. [16] And he told
those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; you shall not make my
Father’s house a house of trade.” [17] His disciples remembered that it was writ-
ten, “Zeal for thy house will consume me.” [18] The Jews then said to him, “What
signs have you to show us for doing this?” [19] Jesus answered them, “Destroy
this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [20] The Jews then said, “It has
taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?”
[21] But he spoke of the temple of his body. [22] When therefore he was raised
from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed
the scripture and the word which Jesus had spoken.


13. “The Passover of the Jews”: this is the most important religious feast for the
people of the Old Testament, the prefiguring of the Christian Easter (cf. note on
Mt 26:2). The Jewish Passover was celebrated on the fourteenth day of the month
of Nisan and was followed by the festival week of the Azymes (unleavened bread).
According to the Law of Moses, on those days every male Israelite had to “appear
before the Lord God” (Ex 34:23; Deut 16:16) — hence the pious custom of making
a pilgrimage to the temple of Jerusalem for these days, hence the crowd and all
the vendors to supply the needs of the pilgrims; this trading gave rise to abuses.

“Jesus went up to Jerusalem”: by doing this Jesus publicly shows that he ob-
serves the Law of God. But, as we shall soon see, he goes to the temple as the
only-begotten Son who must ensure that all due decorum is observed in the
House of the Father: “And from thenceforth Jesus, the Anointed of God, always
begins by reforming abuses and purifying from sin; both when he visits his
Church, and when he visits the Christian soul” (Origen, “Hom. on St John”, 1).

14-15. Every Israelite had to offer as a passover sacrifice an ox or a sheep, if he
was wealthy; or two turtle-doves or two pigeons if he was not (Lev 5:7). In addi-
tion he had to pay a half shekel every year, if he was twenty or over. The half she-
kel, which was the equivalent of a day’s pay of a worker, was a special coin also
called temple money (cf. Ex 30:13); other coins in circulation (denarii, drachmas,
etc.) were considered impure because they bore the image of pagan rulers. Du-
ring the Passover, because of the extra crowd, the outer courtyard of the temple,
the court of the Gentiles, was full of traders, money changers etc., and inevitably
this meant noise, shouting, bellowing, manure etc. Prophets had already fulmina-
ted against these abuses, which grew up with the tacit permission of the temple
authorities, who made money by permitting trading. Cf. notes on Mt 21: 12-13
and Mk 11:15-18.

16-17. “Zeal for thy house will consume me” — a quotation from Psalm 69:10. Je-
sus has just made a most significant assertion: “You shall not make my Father’s
house a house of trade.” By calling God his Father and acting so energetically,
he is proclaiming he is the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus’ zeal for his Father’s
glory did not escape the attention of his disciples who realized that what he did
fulfilled the words of Psalm 69.

18-22. The temple of Jerusalem, which had replaced the previous sanctuary
which the Israelites carried around in the wilderness, was the place selected by
God during the Old Covenant to express his presence to the people in a special
way. But this was only an imperfect anticipation or prefiguring of the full expres-
sion of his presence among men — the Word of God became man. Jesus, in
whom “the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily” (Col 2:9), is the full presence of
God here on earth and, therefore, the true temple of God. Jesus identifies the tem-
ple of Jerusalem with his own body, and by so doing refers to one of the most pro-
found truths about himself — the Incarnation. After the ascension of the Lord into
heaven this real and very special presence of God among men is continued in
the sacrament of the Blessed Eucharist.

Christ’s words and actions as he expels the traders from the temple clearly show
that he is the Messiah foretold by the prophets. That is why some Jews approach
him and ask him to give a sign of his power (cf. Mt 16:1; Mk 8:11; Lk 11:29). Je-
sus’ reply (v. 20), whose meaning remains obscure until his resurrection, the Je-
wish authorities try to turn into an attack on the temple — which merits the death
penalty (Mt 26:61; Mk 14:58; cf. Jer 26:4ff); later they will taunt him with it when
he is suffering on the cross (Mt 27:40; Mk 15:29) and later still in their case a-
gainst St Stephen before the Sanhedrin they will claim to have heard him repeat
it (Acts 6:14).

There was nothing derogatory in what Jesus said, contrary to what false witnes-
ses made out. The miracle he offers them, which he calls “the Sign of Jonah” (cf.
Mt 16:4), will be his own resurrection on the third day. Jesus is using a metaphor,
as if to say: Do you see this temple? Well, imagine if it were destroyed, would it
not be a great miracle to rebuild it in three days? That is what I will do for you as
a sign. For you will destroy my body, which is the true temple, and I will rise
again on the third day.

No one understood what he was saying. Jews and disciples alike thought he was
speaking about rebuilding the temple which Herod the Great had begun to con-
struct in 19-20 B.C. Later on the disciples grasped what he really meant.

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.

5 posted on 11/08/2019 11:04:58 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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