Rebuilding the Temple with St. Padre Pio, Monday of the 25th Week of Ordinary Time (I), September 23, 2013

Fr. Roger J. Landry
St. Bernadette Parish, Fall River, MA
Monday of the 25th Week of Ordinary Time, Year I
Memorial of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, Priest and Religious
September 23, 2013
Ezra 1:1-6, Ps 126, Lk 8:16-18

To listen to an audio recording of today’s homily, please click here: 


The following points were attempted in the homily:

  • Jesus tells us in the Gospel to pay attention to how we hear, and we need to pay particular attention to how we hear what God’s trying to teach us in today’s first reading from the Book of Ezra. The rebuilding of the Temple after the exile is not only an important historical event, but it points to the rebuilding of the True Temple, Christ after three days, and in him, the rebuilding of the Church and the rebuilding of each one of us, called to be a temple of the Holy Spirit. Just as the Jews were all to contribute to the rebuilding of the temple — gold, silver, elbow grease and more — so each of us is called to participate fully in the rebuilding of the entire Church, which is always in need of reform (“getting back into shape”) by revitalizing it’s connection with the source of rebuilding who is Christ himself.
  • We see the renovation plans for the rebuilding of the Church in St. Padre Pio. Pope Paul VI said that when we look at St. Pio, we shouldn’t focus merely on the rarely inimitable qualities — the stigmata for 50 years, the bilocation, the reading of people’s consciences, the nocturnal battles against the devil — but instead on what all of us can emulate: that he humbly prayed the Mass, heard confessions from dawn to dusk, was a man of prayer, suffering and charity. These are the pillars for our rebuilding and the rebuilding of the Church.
  • Jesus said at the end of today’s Gospel that to those we have, more will be given, and to those who don’t, even what they seem to have will be taken away. This is the principle of “use it or lose it” that is as applicable to the spiritual life as it is to human musculature. We need to grow in intensity in the way we pray the Mass, the frequency and quality of our confessions, the priority we give to prayer, the way by which we unite our sufferings to God, and the way we become Good Samaritans for others. That was the means by which St. Pio became a resplendent Temple radiating Christ’s light and even his wounds to the whole world. That’s also the means, through his intercession, by which we will, too.

The readings for today’s Mass were: 

Reading 1
EZR 1:1-6

In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia,
in order to fulfill the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah,
the LORD inspired King Cyrus of Persia
to issue this proclamation throughout his kingdom,
both by word of mouth and in writing:
“Thus says Cyrus, king of Persia:
‘All the kingdoms of the earth
the LORD, the God of heaven, has given to me,
and he has also charged me to build him a house in Jerusalem,
which is in Judah.
Therefore, whoever among you belongs to any part of his people,
let him go up, and may his God be with him!
Let everyone who has survived, in whatever place he may have dwelt,
be assisted by the people of that place
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
together with free-will offerings
for the house of God in Jerusalem.’”Then the family heads of Judah and Benjamin
and the priests and Levites–
everyone, that is, whom God had inspired to do so–
prepared to go up to build the house of the LORD in Jerusalem.
All their neighbors gave them help in every way,
with silver, gold, goods, and cattle,
and with many precious gifts
besides all their free-will offerings.

Responsorial Psalm
PS 126:1B-2AB, 2CD-3, 4-5, 6

R. (3) The Lord has done marvels for us.
When the LORD brought back the captives of Zion,
we were like men dreaming.
Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Then they said among the nations,
“The LORD has done great things for them.”
The LORD has done great things for us;
we are glad indeed.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like the torrents in the southern desert.
Those that sow in tears
shall reap rejoicing.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.
Although they go forth weeping,
carrying the seed to be sown,
They shall come back rejoicing,
carrying their sheaves.
R. The Lord has done marvels for us.

LK 8:16-18

Jesus said to the crowd:
“No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel
or sets it under a bed;
rather, he places it on a lampstand
so that those who enter may see the light.
For there is nothing hidden that will not become visible,
and nothing secret that will not be known and come to light.
Take care, then, how you hear.
To anyone who has, more will be given,
and from the one who has not,
even what he seems to have will be taken away.”