. . . for God’s temple is holy, and that temple you are.

November 21st is the feast of the Entrance into the Temple of Mary, the mother of our Lord. The event is not found in the bible; its celebration belongs to the tradition of the church and takes place every year early in the Nativity fast.

Mary holds a special place in the church because she is the mother of our Lord. Also, she is the model disciple of Christ because she:

  • Hears the word of God
  • Believes the word of God
  • Keeps the word of God

We are called to the same – each of us. We desire to hear and believe and keep God’s word and our life of prayer, fasting, vigil, charity and virtue is aimed at that.

A large theme of this feast is the celebration of Mary as the temple of God. Christ lives in her virginal womb and she becomes the temple of God – even more so than the physical temple she enters. Our Old Testament ancestors celebrated the goodness of God who lived in the physical temple built of mortar and stone. The temple was holy because God dwelt in the temple and God is holy. On this feast day, that physical temple receives Mary who in ways unimaginable to our ancestors is herself the temple of the holy God. Mary is holy because God dwells in her and God is holy. Every disciple of Christ is holy because Christ dwells within us. On this feast day, the faithful marvel over Mary as the temple of the living God.

One aspect of this feast reflects on Mary’s formation as the model disciple. Her parents were devout and pious. They raised their daughter and provided for her life. They were not merely concerned with her social, cognitive, physical, musical, athletic and emotional development. They saw the Jerusalem temple as an essential part of her life and development. They took her to the temple where she was formed by the hearing of the scriptures and the liturgy of the faith to become the mother of our Lord, the model of discipleship, and the living temple of God. She was formed to be holy.

Questions: How do I hear God’s word? Do I have faith in His word? How can I better keep His word?

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