Fr Noel's Homilies

Buzzword ƒƒ‚‚'€“ ƒƒ‚‚'€œTemple of Godƒƒ‚‚'€
Religious ritual has always employed symbols to highlight belief and practice. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ Church buildings help people to focus the presence of the mysterious and divine that surrounds us and in which we live.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

Ezechielƒƒ‚‚'€“ 47: 1-2, 8-9, 1:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  The symbol of the life giving water represents the presence of God as a life giving, creative power in the Law and the Temple, influencing and sustaining the Jewish culture.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

1 Corinthians3: 9-11, 16-17:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  Dismayed at the divisions which had developed in the community at Corinth over who was the greater ƒƒ‚‚'€“ Paul or Apollos,ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  Paul calls on the community to see the Church for what it really is ƒƒ‚‚'€“ Godƒƒ‚‚'€™s building in which God dwells and in which members of the community exercise different ministries and are basically equal because they answer to the same Master and work for the same goal.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

Gospel:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  St. John 2: 13-22:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  Here we are told of Jesusƒƒ‚‚'€™ angry reactionƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  to the profanation of the Temple ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ by the traders who had turned it into a ƒƒ‚‚'€˜market placeƒƒ‚‚'€™.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

Point 1:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  Throughout history, people have established meeting places where they would gather to learn about their God and to worship. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ Archaeological exploration invariably finds evidence of such meeting places.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  In Mesopotamia and Egypt, the temple was the house of god where he was served by the priests and was not a house of assembly for worshipers.

When worshipers came to the temple they were admitted only to the temple courts where the rites of prayer and sacrifice were conducted. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ In these civilisations, the temple was also a civic, cultural and economic centre. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ The temple was the first place where writing appeared and the temple libraries became a vast source of information on daily life and beliefs.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

Point 2:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  In the Jewish culture, the idea of building a temple was first mooted by David and built by his son, Solomon, and it was simply known as the House of the Lord. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ The decision to create a permanent ƒƒ‚‚'€œHouse of the Lordƒƒ‚‚'€ was opposed by many of the Israelite people because it meant a departure from the nomadic character of their culture in which the ƒƒ‚‚'€œTabernacleƒƒ‚‚'€ provided a mobile ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ dwelling place of the Lordƒƒ‚‚'€™s presence.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

Point 3:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  With the emergence of the Christian community, this tradition of erecting meeting places was continued and still occupies high priority in the communityƒƒ‚‚'€™s life. The Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and is built on land originally owned by the Laterani family. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ It holds particular significance as the mother church of Christendom. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ It is sixteen centuries old and is the Cathedral Church of the archdiocese of Rome. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ As such it is the Cathedral church of the Pope as Bishop of Rome. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ For a thousand years it was the seat of Church government until the Pope moved to the Vatican in the thirteenth century, and within its walls, 28 Popes are buried.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  The history of this building is the history of the Church. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ It has been attacked, invaded, rebuilt, vandalized and, again, rebuild. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ Just as the community it represents has been attacked and decimated through the ages, only to grow to greater strength. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ ƒƒ‚‚'€œThe blood of martyrs is the seed of the Churchƒƒ‚‚'€ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ 

Conclusion:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  Church buildings are symbols of something greater than their size or artistic decoration. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ The connecting links over the centuries are the people who have passed on from one generation to the next a life and tradition. ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚ Any place where God is worshipped becomes holy ground.ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  And our Churches today still serve this purpose to bring people together to celebrate and to testify that ƒƒ‚‚'€œGod is not deadƒƒ‚‚'€.

Scriptural reference:ƒƒ‚ƒ‚‚‚  ƒƒ‚‚'€œThe temple of God is sacred, and you are this templeƒƒ‚‚'€ 1 Corinthians, 3:17)

Vision Statement

We are:

* a welcoming community which reaches out to all
* celebrating Christ's presence
* joyfully living out our Christian calling across distance and diversity

This vision states that as a Diocese, we aim to be a welcoming, missionary, centred on Christ, and each striving to live one's particular vocation. It is in living out our calling that we praise God, follow Christ, influence society and achieve the goal of eternal life won for us by Christ. In the parishes we have encouraged people to measure whatever they do against this Diocesan vision.

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Catholic Diocese
of GERALDTON
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7 Maitland Street
PO Box 46
Geraldton WA 6531

Chancery Ph: +61 8 9921 3221

Cathedral Parish Ph: +61 8 9964 1608 (diverts a/hrs)