the underground church
Jesus "entered the temple." —Luke 19:45
On the surface, a church service, i.e. Mass, seems quiet, even tranquil, reserved, and orderly. But if you could read the minds of those present, you probably would be shocked at what's going on behind the scenes, in the hearts of the people. In four verses, the Bible mentions seven activities which go on simultaneously at a church service:
- Ejecting (Lk 19:45). Hopefully, at church we're letting the Lord eject sin, unforgiveness, bitterness, resentment, jealousy, fear, etc. from our lives.
- Trading (Lk 19:45). We should not try to play "Let's Make a Deal" with God.
- Praying (Lk 19:46). God intends a church to be a house of prayer (Is 56:7).
- Thieving (Lk 19:46). "How do we rob" God? Being stingy "in tithes and in offerings" is one way among others of robbing God (Mal 3:8).
- Teaching (Lk 19:47). St. Jerome said: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ" (Catechism, 133).
- Plotting (Lk 19:47). People plot against Jesus by plotting against the members of His body.
- Listening (Lk 19:48). To sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to His words is the better part (Lk 10:39, 42).
A church service below the surface is like a three-ring circus. Is what you're doing at church pleasing the Lord?
Prayer: Father, may "the reflections and thoughts" of my heart at Mass be pleasing to You (Heb 4:12).
Promise: "In the way of Your decrees I rejoice, as much as in all riches." —Ps 119:14
Praise: Miranda listens to God's Word with closed eyes to shut out distractions.
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, April 6, 2010
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