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Christopher Ross S.J.Feb 5, 2024 12:00:00 AM2 min read

5 February 2024

Memorial of Saint Agatha, Virgin and Martyr

In the first reading of the day, a long-awaited climax of a divine drama has come. For many years, the Lord had accompanied the people of Israel by residing in a humble tent and by leading them through the desert. Eventually, the wise King Solomon dedicates the best materials of the kingdom to constructs the famous temple of God in Jerusalem, and the glory of the Lord fills the entire temple in a magnificent and majestic way. Although God did not need an earthly residence, God did deign to fill the temple with his glory to show his nearness, generosity, and fidelity to the people of the covenant.

            With a little insight from the New Testament, this divine drama of the temple sheds insight into our spiritual lives in the world of today. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul boldly asks, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” (1 Corinthians 6:19). In this way, God always accompanies us in our lives no matter where the journey of life with its wandering may have taken us in the past. After all, everything that we have is first a gift from the divine goodness. Nevertheless, if, like another wise Solomon, we offer the best we have to the Lord, God is not accustomed to being stingy. Rather God time and time again pours out the Holy Spirit in an ever-greater abundance to show his nearness, generosity, and faithful love toward us. St. Ignatius of Loyola teaches us this same lesson when he says, “in general, the more one binds himself to God our Lord and shows himself more generous toward his Divine Majesty, the more will he find God more generous toward himself and the more disposed will he be to receive daily greater graces and spiritual gifts.” In other words, God will not be outdone in generosity. Therefore, with God’s help, let us offer the best we can to the Lord and not be surprised when he gives us better. Strengthened by divine assistance, let us adorn our bodies with the precious ornaments of virtue and the decorations of charitable deeds and then watch how the Lord guilds us with the gold of his gifts to make us a fitting dwelling for his presence. By God’s grace, let us consecrate our entire selves to the Lord and be open for him to fill this temple with his glory.