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Engaging the Word: 11/9/2004

In Ezekiel’s vision we see water flowing from God’s temple and that this water refreshes and gives life to all that come in contact with it.Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh.

In turn what is watered also gives life and refreshes.

Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary.  Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine.

It is important to note that neither the temple nor the water is God.  The temple is where God dwells, and the water is a means of reaching out beyond the temple to give life to all creation.  What is given life then rightly shares life as well.  To be given life and to share life gladdens the soul.

With his question to the Corinthians, Paul instructs us that each one of us is a temple of the Holy Spirit, that God dwells within us.  None of us is God, but within each of us God has laid a foundation upon which we are called to build.  As with the temple in Ezekiel’s vision, the goodness of God is not meant to be contained but rather to flow out from God’s dwelling place.  Our words and actions are meant to flow like the life-giving stream witnessed by Ezekiel, cooperating in God’s creation and giving life to others who will also bear good fruit.

As we are reminded by the selection we hear this week from the Gospel of John, we can fill our temples with distractions, using our spiritual, mental, and physical gifts for our own projects, for own glory, or even simply wasting them.  Sometimes we need to clean up our acts and drive out the distractions.  We need to become consumed with zeal for our Father’s house, for our very selves, driving out all that is not loving and worthy of true praise.

Of course, the Good News is that we can come to the awareness that we are temples of the Holy and that we have the graced capacity to keep them clean and bring the love and goodness that dwells within us to others who will also bear good fruit.

1st Reading: Genesis 28: 11-18 ~ Responsorial: Psalm 84: 3-6, 8, 11

2nd Reading: 1 Corinthians 3: 9-13, 16-17 ~ Gospel: Luke 19: 1-10



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