Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Pope Francis' Happy Theology on the Church as the Holy Temple of God

As Catholic faithful who have been spoiled by several decades of strong and orthodox Catholic teachings since Vatican II, are you concerned that Pope Francis, while pleasant and outreaching, could be just an empty shell when it comes to scriptural knowledge and theology? Worse still, given his infamous comment of "Who am I to judge?" on the issue of homosexuality (see my post of July 31, 2013 Is Pope Francis Backing Down From the Church's Teaching Against Homosexuality?), could this Pope be a loose cannon - a crowd-pleaser - who is all too eager to compromise on the Church's teaching in order to conform to popular secular demands?

Just in case this is something that's bothering you, let me refer you to his General Audience of June 26, 2013 - an eloquent theological discussion on the Church as the Holy Temple of God. His immediate predecessors JPII and BXVI will be very pleased with this insightful and layer-by-layer exegetical discourse, in which the Holy Father explains how the ancient Temple of Jerusalem is a pre-figuration of the Church - the place of God's presence, the Temple that the Holy Spirit dwells; how the Incarnated Christ, Son of David, builds the Church as a visible sign of his presence among his people, thus fulfilling God's promise to King David in 2 Sam 7:1-29 that his heir would build a house for God’s name and his royal throne would be firm forever; how the House of God - the Church - is built using not material stones but living stones, which we are, on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ himself being the cornerstone (cf. 1 Peter 2:4-5, Eph 2:20-22); and how, with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, granted us through baptism, each one of us, the living stones of the Holy Temple, is a useful brick of this beautiful Temple, a priest in our own right whose sacrifices are not animals but, following the footsteps of the Crucified Christ, our own bodies (cf. Romans 12:1).

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this beautiful theological discourse! But that's not all. The Holy Father concludes his Wednesday Audience with an in-your-face exhortation for those Catholic faithful who are weary, bored, and indifferent; demanding that they COME ALIVE AND REJOICE as Christians. They need to remember who they are - the living stones and building blocks of the Church of Christ - and what they've been called to do - the important mission of building up the House of God!

1 comment:

  1. Pope Francis' apparent different approach to convey the same teachings compared to his predecessors is what our Church needs the most now. We, as Catholics, need and must embrace mercy and compassion that Francis promotes.

    His friendly approach would certainly attract way more people than before to understand what Catholicism really is.

    I like this Pope.