In today’s First Reading, Solomon utters a beautiful, awe-filled prayer of blessing over the temple. He humbly realizes that this new structure cannot contain the God of heaven and earth, but does acknowledge that He will be honored there, and thus wishes it to be a holy sanctuary.
Perhaps we might feel similarly when we step foot inside an adoration chapel. We recognize that God is not contained in that room, or even in that monstrance, but we come to honor and adore him in that holy place. Churches and chapels and even designated areas of our homes are truly important because they raise our minds and hearts to God amid the chaos of our everyday lives.
But even more significant, our very bodies are important for that same reason. Jesus chastises the scribes and Pharisees for holding fast to so many unnecessary rules when their hearts were far from him. How often do we ourselves “nullify the word of God” in favor of our not so good habits?
Our overall health is important to our mission of being a light to the world. If I cannot temper my attachment to caffeine, fast food, and sugary treats in order to have more energy to give it all to my kids, am I reaching my full potential? If I cannot overcome my laziness to get some decent exercise a few times a week in order to relieve stress and obtain greater psychological health, is my light reaching as far as it could?
I remember thinking when I was 12 years old that I knew all there was to know about my faith and that I would quite possibly be bored the rest of my life simply living it out. Now, I realize more than ever how far I am from living it out to the fullest.
I have been convicted lately to make some major changes in 2020. I stopped reading compelling, page-turning novels and started reading spiritual and self-improvement books instead. I began drinking six glasses of water a day to keep my body awake and hydrated. I began seeking more concrete ways to provide for my family’s needs. But most of all, I have felt convicted to pour out more of myself, particularly to my kids.
It’s still so often all about me. I’m tired, I’m sick of the noise, I’m not in the mood to play chess, I’m waiting for you to brush your teeth so I can go to bed. My heart needs a dramatic change. I am not giving until it hurts. When it starts to hurt, I raise my voice or send them to their room. I am not listening to their stories. When they want to go on and on about their day, I tell them to hurry up because I’m tired.
Maybe if I were more respectful to my kids, they would be more respectful of others. Maybe if I listened to them better, they would listen to me. Maybe, just maybe, if I gave my all to them, a much more positive atmosphere would ensue.
So here’s to concrete changes in my own “temple” and my own heart. May I confirm instead of nullifying the Word of God so that I might be a light to others, beginning with the littles right under my nose (literally).
Tami grew up in Western Michigan, a middle child in a large Catholic family. She spent early young adulthood as a missionary in Mexico, studying theology and philosophy, then worked and traveled extensively before finishing her Bachelor’s Degree in Western Kentucky. She loves tackling home improvement projects, finding fun ways to keep her four boys occupied, quiet conversation with the hubby and finding unique ways to love. She works at Diocesan, is a guest blogger on CatholicMom.com and BlessedIsShe.net, runs her own blog at https://togetherandalways.wordpress.com and has been doing Spanish translations on the side for almost 20 years.