The Gospel of Luke recorded the story of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple by Holy Mary. St. Luke, the Gospel writer, was particularly interested in the Temple. In fact, his Gospel begins with the Temple----the story of Zechariah and the angel in the Temple, and ends in the Temple----the disciples, after the resurrection of Jesus, were always in the Temple, praising and glorifying God. As well, the Gospel of Luke recorded many incidents about the Temple.
Why was the Temple so important to St. Luke and even the Israelites? It is because the temple was God’s dwelling place, a place where God encountered human, also a place where God reconciled with human. Whenever the Israelites came to the Temple to make sacrifice, they offered their life, mind and will to God once more. Yet, what they did was far from sufficient, for people did not know how to reconcile with God. All these changed after Saint Joseph and Holy Mary brought Jesus to the Temple, because this time, God came to His own temple in a human body. The Son of God taught us how to offer our human bodies to God the Father. This was revealed to us through His sufferings and death on the cross.
In fact, God’s grace is far more than this, since Christ is in our body and He offers our bodies to God the Father. After we are baptized, and through receiving Holy Communion, our human nature integrates closely with the divine nature of Jesus Christ. Our body becomes the temple of the Holy Spirit. Truly, Christ is inside us, and it is only up to us to decide whether we are willing to live by following Christ. St. Paul the Apostle is our model, he said,”… I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me”. Thus, every time we participate in mass, receive the Holy Eucharist and unite with Christ, we will say: O God, almighty Father, all honour and glory, through Christ, with Christ and in Christ, are offered to you. We need to continue to offer our body in Christ, offer our life, our mind, our will and our spiritual self. Christ speaks to other people inside me, Christ thinks inside me, Christ loves people inside me. Let us become more and more like Christ, hoping that one day, we, too, can say: I live, no longer I, but it is Christ who lives in me.
Deacon John Wang