Thursday of the Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time
(Exodus 40:16-21.34-38; Matthew 13:47-53)
Years ago religious sisters teaching in schools admonished their pupils to make room for the Holy Spirit in their souls. They were to reject sin so that the Spirit would find a fitting place to reside. The lesson sounds naive today, but it is not far from what the author of Exodus pictures Moses doing in the first reading.
The reading is quite definite about Moses being the builder of the Dwelling place for the Lord. Moses seems to take great pains to follow the instructions he had received for the Dwelling. The result is obviously favourable. The glory of the Lord fills the dwelling like a cloud. It serves as a guide leading the people through foreign terrain to the Promised Land.
Is it really too pious a thought to consider our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit? The body, we might say, is the tent wherein lies the soul which the Holy Spirit occupies. Like Moses we need to take care of our bodies with a healthy diet and exercise routine. Even more important, we should avoid polluting our souls with violent fantasies and sexual whims. The Holy Spirit confers much peace when we invite it into such an orderly dwelling place.