Bishop stresses role of physical body as ‘spiritual temple’

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MANILA, Dec. 2, 2013—It is not only spiritual richness that must be observed by the Catholic faithful. The need to keep one’s material body healthy and fit must not be neglected for it serves as the spiritual temple that connects oneself to the Divine, a Catholic Bishop said.

Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles reminded the laity that one’s physical body serves as the “temple of God” that unites oneself to others, emphasizing that aside from keeping themselves spiritually rich, they must also take time to rest to ensure the soundness of their physical well-being.

“You are the temple of God and it is where the spirit of God dwells on you. If anyone destroys that temple, God will destroy that person for it is the temple of God that you are destroying,” Arguelles said in his homily during the November Marian Conference held at the San Carlos Seminary.

“We are somebody, we are everybody, and we are related to others through that body. We relate and God chose to become a body with us so that He can relate with us in His words. The word of God is relating, completing, being in communion with Him for we are the church,” he added.

“The church is open to accept those who are impoverished in whatever means because it is God who receives and shows His mercy to accept strangers, the poor, and the homeless,” he said.

Arguelles noted the importance of being united as one faith community, saying that the communion of people together, both spiritual and physical, strengthens and makes the church grow within the presence of the Divine.

“There is no stone church if there is no faith community around, no matter if that faith community is composed only of two persons. Because when two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in them as well,” he noted.

“We become one in Christ and that has to grow. You have to contaminate others in the holiness that Christ brings. And that is the church—people who belong to the Lord, gathered together,” he added. “The cross is Christ drawing us to himself…In His body, He draws all of us to Himself so we may become one body, one spirit, one life in Christ.”

Keeping Sabbath holy 

He reminded the Catholic faithful to keep Sundays holy to rekindle their spirituality, reenergize themselves, and spend time together with their families.

“Sunday is the day when the people of God everywhere celebrate their unity with Christ. It is the day we offer to those who are one with us that we become one with the community…We are being received into the communion of those who are made holy by the oneness in Christ,” Arguelles said.

“It is the day when you are a community—whether you are the family of a father, mother, and children, or you are the spiritual family…Sunday is the day to firm up or deepen one’s faith,” he added.

The bishop emphasized the need for people to rest from the daily grind of work, at least once a week, to restore their “God-given strength.”

“If you work seven days a week and you don’t have the time to (restore your) God-given strength, you will destroy yourself. You will die,” he said.

“That’s why when we are so busy with many things, especially for our own self, we grow old faster…But when you are with God and you are happy with your family, and with the bigger family, you remain always young,” Arguelles added. (Jennifer Orillaza)

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