Reading – Ephesians 2:19-22
Feast of the Dedication of the Lateran Basilica in Rome
*I will use feminine pronouns for God in this reflection and in some future writings. I’ll use masculine pronouns in other reflections. God is beyond gender, but using “he” and “she” helps us understand and relate to God as a person (the Person) more than using “it.” Now for the actual reflection; sorry for all the delays!*
When you believe in God, you know that you, nor anyone else, nor even God Herself are ever truly alone. Whether we trust in God’s existence or the presence of any higher power, God is there with us, ready to help and guide us if we but ask. This can feel somewhat constraining, though – claustrophobic, even. All of us at one point or another – and extreme introverts like me, especially – enjoy being alone, at least for a little while, and perhaps even crave it.
Some of us want to be sojourners, to revel in being apart from the group, strangers to all others that need not rely on anyone nor have anyone rely on us. We desire to be the trailblazers, the great guides toward the Truth as we venture far beyond others on our lonely but noble path into Mystery.
As I’ve realized often, though, that’s a rather selfish and, honestly, crappy dream. The Mystery isn’t just for us; it’s for everyone. In fact, the Mystery already surrounds and abides within us. God accompanies us as we explore God’s self, drawing us deeper into that unfathomable ocean of love and truth.
God also guides us to each other; made in the image of the Trinitarian God, we are meant to be with and love others, even if we need to withdraw by ourselves after doing so and in order to do so again. Even the Desert Fathers and hermits through the ages sought a closer communion with the Other and a better understanding of and care toward others. No lone person is an island or, to use the feast and images of this day, a building unto themselves. Yes, we are temples of the Holy Spirit, but without connections to other temples and the Master Architect, we fall into disrepair and ruin.
We each are compelled by the Spirit to open the riches of our temples – our talents, virtues, possessions, and histories – to each other so that the Architect may build up and complete Her intricate, magnificent, transcendent blueprint for the universe. Our attempts at contributing to this project, finding the best means of joining our temples together, and discovering parts of the blueprint make us sojourners and strangers, in a sense. We each have unique compositions and cuts, our own quests in letting the Architect work and love through us, but we all have a common foundation (God), a common creator (God), and a common goal (you guessed it: God).
Thus we journey, alone yet together, marveling at the stars in whirling thoughts inside our minds, silent praises to God in our souls, and hushed but ecstatic whispers with each other in our conversations. We let God build us up, build each other up, and build Her holy temple with Her son himself as the capstone. May we let you guide us to our true selves, to each other, and to you, O God. Thank you. ~