The temple is the central reference point of the whole people of God, Pope Francis said, as he reflected on the Old Testament reading about the re-consecration of the ancient Jewish temple in Jerusalem. Speaking about the beauty, music and ritual of our liturgies, the Pope said the main focus of the community gathered around the altar must be our adoration of God. Recalling how Jesus chases away those who tried to do business in the temple, he asked whether our churches and our liturgical celebrations today help us to worship and adore God?
But the Pope also spoke of the inner life of each individual as a temple where we can worship God and try to follow his commandments in our daily lives. Recalling St Paul’s words about our bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit, he said God’s Spirit is in us so we must listen and follow him.
Following God’s word, the Pope went on, requires a continual purification, since all of us are sinners. We do this through prayer, through penitence, through the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist. In this way, he concluded, in both the material building where we worship and in the spiritual temple of our hearts, our attitude must be one of adoration and attentive listening, an attitude of prayer, penitence and praise