Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
An apocryphal source recounts that Mary’s parents, Joachim and Anne who had been childless received a message in a dream that would have a child. In thanksgiving for the gift of their daughter Joachim and Anne brought their three-year-old daughter to the temple to offer her to God. The feast entered the Western calendar in 1585. Today, we celebrate Mary as the temple of God where God dwelt within her in a special way through her role as the Mother of Jesus”. (Living with Christ, November 2022,)
What does it mean for you and me to be a temple of God? St . Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:16 “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you.” In the scriptures the word “temple can be used in two ways. The first usage can refer to all the temple precincts. The second use of temple refers to the temple sanctuary, the place of the very presence of God. The use of the word temple for St. Paul was referring to the local church where people gather together, and God is in their midst. The New Testament in other sections speaks of the Holy Spirit indwelling in individual believers. (https://versebyversecommentary.com/2002/07/27/1-corinthians-316/)
Have you ever stopped to think that God dwells in you? You and I are a sanctuary where God dwells. Since we are temples where God dwells do we act like it? Are we consistently compassionate, forgiving, kind and loving especially to our family and friends? St. Paul’s calls our bodies temples of the Holy Spirit. Do we respect our bodies and care for them with diet, exercise, prayer, and meditation. Or do we abuse our bodies through alcohol and drugs, sleep deprivation or improper diets.
Throughout this day stop a couple of times and look in the mirror and remind yourself that you are a temple of God.
God, our creator, thank you for creating our bodies to be your temple. Enable me to honor my body with your presence. Assist me to love my neighbor and myself and my body. Amen.
Carl Middleton is a theologian/ethicist and a member of the Passionist Family.