Friday, November 23, 2012

Ordinary 33 Friday

Do you ever worry about the Church? Lots of people do these days. Depending on who you speak with, they worry that the church is either too liberal or too conservative, too worldly or out of touch with the world. Many are worried about attacks on the Church from the media and politicians. Church scandals are a source of worry too.

            All of this we might call the “bad news.” The “good news” is that God is in control. He never abandons his Church. And he’s always reforming it.

            This is clear in today’s Scripture readings, in which God protected the great Temple in Jerusalem from a threat from without and a threat from within. In I Maccabees, the people praised God when worship in the Temple was restored, after an oppressive foreign government tried to force everyone to worship other gods. And in the gospel, Jesus himself was in the Temple, driving out those who had turned it from a house of prayer into a corrupt marketplace.

            To fully understand this, we need to appreciate that the Temple is a symbol of the Church, because God dwells in his Church today, as he was once believed to dwell in the Temple. And how God defended and purified his Temple back then, reminds us that he does the same for his Church today. So there’s no need for us to worry about it. The Church may go through rough times, but God will never let it fail. It’s like G.K. Chesterton once wrote: “Christianity has died many times and risen again; for it had a God who knew his way out of a grave.”

(My book of daily meditations for Lent is now available from Ave Maria Press:

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