Commentary on the Gospel of
The world is dotted with stunning cathedrals. Some took centuries to build, and all are beautiful must-see destinations, whatever your religion.
St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, and the Duomo de Milano in Milan are but a few of the standouts in Europe. The United States is not without its beautiful churches too, including Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The architecture and grandeur of these buildings is awe-inspiring and breathtaking, and possibly, many of us have celebrated the Eucharist in one or more of them.
But is there one church, cathedral, basilica or chapel that stands head and shoulders above all others? One that truly has no equal?
The reading from Hebrews gives us some insight with these words describing God’s church: “…one not made by hands, that is not belonging to this creation.” It was Christ offering his unblemished self to God and the shedding of his blood for our eternal salvation that makes us the most magnificent of all churches, cathedrals, basilicas or chapels in the world!
Beginning with our baptism and the Holy Spirit descending, we were freed from sin and reborn as children of God, and “we became members of Christ and were incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission.” Our “incorporation into the Church” is not just the physical house of worship, but the church that resides in our very hearts and souls, and it is a church that is always available, always open, to guide us every moment of our lives.
What could be more beautiful than to know that because of the sacrifice made by Jesus, we are now God’s church, his Holy Temple, where he resides every day? And he is always there to lead us, there to answer to our pleas for help and assistance, there to comfort us in times of distress, and there to celebrate the great joys of life with us. And when we want to have a quiet moment of deep prayer and reflection, we do not have to kneel in a cathedral for God to hear us, for we are already in his house, and he is there, patiently waiting to listen to our petitions.
But with this wonderful gift comes great responsibility. If we truly believe that God is present in us and that we are his Church on earth, how we live our lives and how we take care of his church speaks volumes about our relationship with him.
Today, as we do our Daily Examen, think not only about God’s presence in our lives, but our presence in his church, and how grateful we are to know that God is with us, step by step. Think about how we can make his church even stronger with the choices we make throughout the day, choices that serve God and choices that strengthen, rather than tear down, God’s most beautiful church – us.