Thursday, January 15, 2015

Temple of the Holy Spirit

Second Week in Ordinary Time

This Sunday, the second reading will be from 1 Cor 6:13c-15a, 17-20.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

Humbling words, right? To think that we have in our possession a dwelling place of the holy Spirit, and what do we do with it? If you read back a little in the chapter, there’s no doubting that Paul’s intention was to discuss sexual immorality, but let’s take this a step broader.

Do you really believe that your body is a temple of the holy Spirit? That it is a good and beautiful thing that you’ve been given, free of charge? (You should!)

How poorly do we maintain the temple we’ve been given? How many times this week have we skipped meals? Do we usually get ourselves to bed at a decent hour? When we’re sick, do we push ourselves, or do we stay home and look after our health until we’re better?

My parents told me a story about some neighbors they had a long time ago who were given a brand new refrigerator, for free, because they really needed it. When those neighbors moved (not long after receiving the fridge), they left behind the refrigerator and it was given to my parents. It was frankly in deplorable condition. My dad said that for months it had to be kept outside because the smell was so rank.

It’s easy to neglect the condition of things we’ve received for nothing. We’ve received our bodies and souls for nothing. Do we take care of them? Do we put them through their regular maintenance? Do we feed them right?

How ungrateful we can be in looking after the gifts received from almighty God! How could we be better about this? Think of one way, right now. I’ll wait.

It could be as simple as having more than a cup of coffee for breakfast… Or getting to bed at a decent hour, or saying a morning offering every day. Make that one small change for this week to take better care of the gift that God has given to you.

Let’s pray that God will give us the grace to recognize the ways in which we are not treating the gift of our bodies with the care they deserve. Let us pray that we might turn the one small change we’ve made into a habit of caring for ourselves better in the future.

(Full disclosure: I am 5’4”, and weight 195lbs. (That’s about 1.6m and 88kg.)  In the past week, there have been multiple days on which I have forgotten to eat one meal or another without just cause, and I am not good about remembering to exercise. I am trying to be better about these and other ways in which I have not manifested due gratitude to God for the gift of my body. I just wanted to be clear that I am not talking about “other people” when I say “we” in this post!)

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