Not One Stone…
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, he said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” Luke 21: 5-6
The stones of the Western wall in Jerusalem are all that remain of the Temple Jesus spoke of. Herod the Great erected four walls to retain earth that made a hilltop into a large flat site for an enlarged Temple complex. It was destroyed in the year seventy by the Romans.
We can see twenty-eight rows of dressed stones at the western wall but there are seventeen more rows of stones below ground. Most weigh between two to eight tonnes but there is one that weighs 517 tonnes and is thirteen metres in length. That’s the size of a bus!! No wonder the Temple itself inspired such awe.
The temple was built to honor the God who liberated slaves and wrote the words of liberation onto the stones of the covenant. Jesus warns that the Temple in all its grandeur could become a distraction from authentic spirituality. When we know the liberation that God is for us, we experience a new gravity in our lives. Like those great stones love retains us in our proper place as living stones in the Temple of the new humanity.
In a play called the “Jeweller’s shop: A Meditation on the Sacrament of Matrimony” St. John Paul II wrote “the greatest weight of man is love”. To be sure it is not our loving but God’s loving in us that is of greatest weight. And like in marriage what is essential for gaining weight in love is our consent.
When we soften our resistance to parts of our temple that we don’t love, God’s love can be experienced there. Because all true love is of God when we truly love and accept ourselves, we align with the gravity that holds the entire universe together.
A vocation to priesthood or religious life is a special contribution to the structure of the temple of the new humanity. It is a call and way of living more generously in balance with Divine Love and of initiating others into the gravity and security of this love.
As Advent draws near take time to marvel at the beauty of God who has made you to be a living stone in temple of the new humanity of the risen Christ.
By Mark Blom, OMI – Vocation Director OMI Lacombe Canada
To contact Fr. Mark for advice about discernment and vocation direction. He can meet with you by phone to conduct a short vocation assessment to help you find your way. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for an appointment.