Friday, November 24, 2017

Memorial of Saint Andrew Dung-Lac, Priest, and Companions, Martyrs

For eight days they celebrated the dedication of the altar and joyfully offered burnt offerings and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. They ornamented the facade of the temple with gold crowns and shields; they repaired the gates and the priests' chambers and furnished them with doors. There was great joy among the people now that the disgrace of the Gentiles was removed.

Here we have a description of the aftermath of the purification and rededication of the Temple in Jerusalem, but what does this have to do with us? More than we might think if we consider ourselves... bodies, minds, and souls to be temples to God. If that is the case, then we can recognize the need to purify and rededicate ourselves after we fall into sin. And when we do so through the sacrament of reconciliation, we should celebrate like the Israelites did. We should come to the altar of sacrifice, offer our prayers, alms, and mortifications to God as burnt offerings and sacrifices of deliverance and praise. We should adorn ourselves with thoughts, words, and works of charity and mercy, giving glory to God who is the source, center, and summit of all goodness. We should be overjoyed that we have swept clean our hearts and made them ready to be temples to our Lord and God.

How do we purify ourselves after we sin and rededicate ourselves after receiving reconciliation? Do we celebrate and give thanksgiving to God for all He has forgiven us? How can we adorn ourselves with good words and works?

O Lord, we offer ourselves as living temples to you.


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