Saint Cecilia suffered martyrdom for assisting at the burial of two brothers who were also martyred for the Faith. She was arrested and ordered to sacrifice to pagan gods. When she refused she was suffocated, stabbed in the neck and then beheaded. Saint Cecilia is one of the seven female saints mentioned in the Roman Canon and since the 16th century has been venerated as the heavenly patron of church musicians. Cecilia was martyred in Rome in the year 117.
We all have happy memories of home and growing up. We may remember sitting around the dinner table, talking and laughing with our family. Or perhaps climbing the oak tree in the back garden. Or building a den with friends during the summer holidays. No matter how old we get, our childhood homes hold a special place in our hearts.
We’ve just heard about the Temple in Jerusalem, which was a special place for the Jewish people, so much so that it was adorned with precious stones and ornaments. So, when Our Lord prophesies that not one stone will be left upon another, his words are shocking and troubling for those who hear them.
The Jewish people expected the Messiah to protect the Temple, not predict its destruction. But Our Lord upends their expectations. He tells them that he has come to establish a new temple, one that would last. That temple is the Church, and he is the cornerstone. The rest of the building is made from living stones—us. And we are more precious than the costly stones used to adorn the Temple in Jerusalem, and each of us is called to play an important role in the Church.
Because we are a living temple in Christ, how we live makes a difference, not only in our own lives, but also in our neighbours’ lives. We add beauty and strength to the whole Church when we think less of ourselves and more of other people. Our prayer life not only enlivens our own relationship with God, but draws all of us closer to him.
God wants to see more done in the Church and in the world, and he provides more grace for us to accomplish his work. May God continue to guide and protect the Church and everyone in it. Together, may we grow more and more into the temple that Our Lord wants us to become.