“Your body is a temple.” I’m sure most of you have heard this saying before, but have you thought about how important it truly is? When we hear this saying, most times we think of our physical health. Someone is always telling you not to smoke, or not to eat that chocolate cake because your body is a temple and you should take care of it. Don’t fill your body with poisons because the damage done to your body is many times irreversible. It is true that our physical health is very important, but we must never forget about our spiritual health.
Our bodies, minds, and souls are connected. When one isn’t working right, the others suffer. When we are young, we think we are invincible and don’t realize how fragile we really are. We make choices that destroy our bodies and only realize the damage years later when the aches and pains start to set in. Our physical ailments then turn into fear, anxiety, and sadness which have the power to darken our minds.
In the Epistle reading this Sunday, Apostle Paul reminds us all that “You are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you.” God’s temple is a holy place, and we must treat our bodies as such. As difficult as it is to keep our physical bodies healthy, it is more difficult and much more important to maintain our spiritual cleanliness. Every day, all day long, we are confronted with jealousy, greed, pride, and malice toward each other. We must do everything in our power to not let the evil in. You might be thinking: “I’m sitting in church, not doing anything wrong, so I’m ok.” But just because you aren’t doing wrong, it doesn’t mean you are doing something right. Sitting in the back of the church, playing on your cell phone while daydreaming could be compared to going to the gym, walking around for a few minutes and then treating yourself with a gallon of ice cream.
Doing things the lazy way will never give you the results you are seeking. Just as there is a right way to go to the gym, there is a right way to come to church. Don’t just sit there and expect God to fix all your problems. You have to take action. You won’t feel any benefit if you just sit in the pews. God’s dwelling is not the building we are sitting in. He lives and resides within us. We all need to fully participate in the liturgy, whether here in church or online together. If we don’t cleanse ourselves through confession, the poisons in our souls will circulate through our bodies causing us physical ailments. To aid us in our spiritual and physical healing, here is one of the hymns we pray during our Paraklesis service to the Theotokos: “Owing to the multitude of my sins, ailing is my body and diseased also is my soul. O help me, I pray you the hope of the despairing. To you I come for refuge, O Maiden full of grace.”