Saint Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr (Memorial)

 

My house shall be a house of prayer.

 

When Jesus refers to “my house,” we can understand it in different ways.   The Temple in Jerusalem was seen as the house of God.   Indeed, Jesus declares these words while cleansing the Temple.   Let’s see how else we can understand these words.

My house shall be a house of prayer.

Our families are part of the house of God.   In fact, each family unit is said to be a “domestic church,” a church in miniature.   Each family forms a unique environment where everyone can grow in holiness together.   So it’s important to take advantage of every opportunity to do that—whether it’s praying together as a family, reading Scripture, participating in the sacraments, or serving the poor together.

My house shall be a house of prayer.

The wider people of God—the Church—is also a house in which God dwells.   This includes our fellow parishioners, the people we work alongside in ministry, and the people we share fellowship with.   They are all our brothers and sisters, so we should always show them the respect and honor they deserve.   Even if they favor a different spirituality than we do, they remain precious in the eyes of the Lord.   So pray with them and for them.   Remember also that God wants to bring all people into his house, so treat everyone you meet as a potential “household member”!

My house shall be a house of prayer.

The physical structure in which you attend Mass every Sunday—or perhaps daily—is literally God’s house.   It’s more than just a building.   It is a holy place where you can find Jesus, present in the tabernacle.   It is a sacred space, especially during Mass, when Jesus comes to us in the form of bread and wine.   Your church may not be in the wealthiest neighborhood.   The building may not be designed in the most elegant style.   But whatever it looks like and wherever it is, Jesus is present there.   Don’t ignore this incredible gift!

In prayer today, thank Jesus for all the different ways he is present to you.   May we all treasure every “house of prayer” that Christ has given to us!

“Lord, thank you for coming to dwell with me!”

1 Maccabees 4:36-37, 52-59
(Psalm) 1 Chronicles 29:10-12

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