Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Water Flowing from the Temple

Reflecting on this great feast of the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran, my thoughts are torn between trying to express my thoughts on the incomparable 1st reading for the feast from Ezechiel about the waters, the life-giving waters flowing from the Temple, on the 2nd reading where St. Paul reminds us that we are God's Temple, on the Gospel's "zeal for Your House will consume me", not to mention on the 2nd reading from the Office of Readings, that incomparable meditation of Caesarius of Arles, on the feast of dedication as a concrete reminder and celebration of the dignity of the baptized.

The water, life-giving as it is, the water from the Temple is going to win out this year in my thoughts for this day, despite the urgency I feel in reminding one and all, especially children of the last 40 years of our personal greatness as baptized people after the image of the temple, in that they maybe didn't hear as often as we older folk did that you are God's Temple and as Caesarius admonishes you must keep that temple spotless and filled with light!

Wasn't it St. Augustine who said that the Church is possessed of two life-giving fountains? From the one fountain within the Church flow the waters of baptism which purify the house of Satan and make it, our soul, the House of God. The other font is that of the tears of Penance which wash away sin and restore the fallen to light and life when sins are committed after baptism. Let the Scripture readings for today's feast, especially Ezechiel, move you. This abundance of life-giving water flowing from the Temple brings us hope and joy, hope and joy as God makes the desert bloom and freshens the salt sea.

In November, the month dedicated to the Holy Souls, we need to be caught up in the mystery of our glory in Christ, such that not only through penance and absolution, but through reparation for the punishment due for our sins and those of the world, we might wash and heal with the cleansing waters God has entrusted to His Church ourselves through the ministry of that Church and through our sacrifices and prayers on their behalf those who have preceded us in death unprepared for the beatific vision though not deserving of hell.

Vidi aquam! I saw water flowing from the Temple! Would that we could carry more of our world to the fountain of baptism! Vidi aquam! I saw water flowing from the Temple! Would that the tears of penance would flow more abundantly and regularly within the Church, for our sake and for the sake of the life of the world!

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