Sunday, 8 March 2015

Three Things I Pray

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
Susanne Timpani (No.87)  

The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers at their business. 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. And he told those who sold the pigeons, "Take these things away; you shall not make my Father's house a house of trade."

His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for thy house will consume me." The Jews then said to him, "What sign have you to show us for doing this?"  Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?" But he spoke of the temple of his body. 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. 

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs which he did; but Jesus did not trust himself to them, because he knew all men and needed no one to bear witness of man; for he himself knew what was in man.(John 2:3-13)

I knew a family once whose rental home was ear marked for demolition. They lived with the uncertainty of a date, and while they did so, they experienced virtual squalor. The only saving grace was its situation, on a beautiful plot in the country-side. If you looked beyond the broken down house and out onto the property, you could imagine what an amazing place it would be after re-building.

Unfortunately for this family, as with so many of our own poor, they also knew they would never live in the renovated building. They would move on, possibly to a similar situation.

Jesus knew His body was ear-marked for demolition. He predicted it in many ways, sometimes explicitly, and sometimes using symbols. He also knew His life couldn't end in a useless heap. Whenever He predicted His death, he also described the renovation; His resurrection.

Jesus refers to the Temple as being His body.  Being places of worship, Temples – and Churches – are often places of beauty. 

Later St. Paul claims that we are also God's Temple. Surely he is referring to the renovated Temple, brought about by the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection?

How privileged are we that God believes enough in our beauty, through His Grace, to reside in us? How much nearer can we be to God than this?

Let us continue to seek to know, love and follow Jesus more nearly in our life. 

‘Thanks be to you, our Lord Jesus Christ,
for all the benefits which you have given us,
for all the pains and insults which you have borne for us.
Most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother,
may we know you more clearly,
love you more dearly,
and follow you more nearly,
day by day.’

Susanne Timpani

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Next Reflection: Wednesday, 11th March, 2015