The Temple Of The Holy Spirit
Message from Fr Nishant — 2nd Sunday of the Year (B)
“Do you not know that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit that is in you?” This statement of Saint Paul may scandalize those of us who are influenced by the philosophy of dualism: body as opposed to soul, the former is inferior and the latter is superior. In the biblical tradition body and soul together designate the human person in his/her totality, capable of thinking, deciding, loving and praying. The author of Psalm sings, “Lord my heart thirsts for you, my body longs for you.” (Ps. 62 ) It only means “the whole of my being longs for you Lord.” When Jesus says, “this is my body,” he means “this is me.” We are inseparably body and soul. Body and soul are the two inseparable dimensions of the human person.
It is through our body that we work, enter into relationships with others, manifest our feelings, and express our interiority to the Lord when we pray. Vatican II teaches: “the very dignity of the human person postulates that he/she glorify God in his/her body and forbid it to serve the evil inclinations of his/her heart “ (GS 14). In everyday life we are called to live under the sign of the love of God and of others. All out noble thoughts and feelings are to be expressed through our body. Our eyes must not express contempt and hatred, but respect and trust. Our hands must not express rejection and violence, but hospitality and solidarity.
Saint John Paul II affirms that the body is a sign of the invisible mystery hidden in God from time immemorial (Feb 20, 1980). Therefore it is necessary to underline the importance of the use of body in the liturgy: make the sign of the cross to welcome the love of God manifested on the cross, bow in sign of respect, strike our breast as a sign of repentance, sit down to listen to the Word of God, stand up to welcome the Gospel of Jesus who resurrects us, raise our hands in prayer, and close our eyes to internalize the God experience. To accomplish these gestures with devotion, faith and love is also obviously a way to let our body be the temple of the Holy Spirit.