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Archive for April 15th, 2020

Bright Wednesday

COLLECT OF THE DAY

Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ,  You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

READINGS:  Acts 3:13-15, 17-19 Psalm 61  Colossians 3:1-7 or 1 Corinthians 11:23-26   St. John 21:1-14

One year ago today, the Cathedral of Notre Dame was burned.  We know from the Scriptures that the Church is more than a building.  When King Solomon prayed at the dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem:  “God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:24-25).  The Lord said that the temple would be destroyed in three days.  They thought He was speaking of the building, but He was speaking of His Body (John 2:20-21).  When Jesus had the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well, He said,  “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.”  (John 4:21).  Jesus said to Peter that upon the rock of his confession, He would build His Church  (Matthew 16: 18). St. Paul reminded the Corinthians Christians that y’ll are Temple of the Holy Spirit and the Church is the Body of Christ (1 Cor. 16: 19;  1 Cor.11: 12ff).  St. Peter wrote,  “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2: 5).  Then for over two centuries the Church grew and grew without a church building in sight, under persecution. Yet when the Church was made legal, she began to build Sanctuaries, all over the world.

We are reminded of this as we cannot meet because of covid and the powers and principalities want to stop Christians.  Yet the Word of the Lord endures and so does His Church without a Sanctuary.  Yet those church buildings are a visible reminder to the world of our Savior and His salvation. When church buildings are desecrated by evil such as racism as in Charleston, or when the Communists in China demolish a building or when Notre Dame almost burned to the ground, or Church sanctuaries are empty, there is still pain in the body of Christ.

Notre Dame was built by Christian peasants to the greater glory of God. So many of us terribly miss “going to Church” to be with our brothers and sisters with no social distance and so see the steeple pointing to God, the Altar where we share the Lord’s Body and Blood, the Nave (literally, ship) singing hymns negotiating this world, the Font where you and/or your children were baptized.    To see a church burn is like, I suppose, watching your own house burn, or standing empty and forlorn. Church buildings were never meant to be hitching posts, but guide posts as when the Patriarchs built an Altar after the Lord talked with them.  We need church buildings. Christ is risen!

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