Second Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:9c-11,16-17

God's Home

Popular Translation

9c You are God's home.

10 God gave me a gift. He gave me the job of laying a foundation to a building, just like a expert. Other people will build on that foundation. Let's see how others build on it. 11 For, nobody is able to pour a foundation again that has already been laid. That foundation is Jesus Christ himself.

16 Don't you know you are God's Temple? Don't you know the Holy Spirit lives in you? 17 If a person tears down God's Temple, God will tear him down! For, God's Temple is holy. And you are that Temple!

Literal Translation

9c You are the dwelling of God.

10 By the grace of God, the (one) having given to me (the job) as a master builder, I set the foundation, but another builds (on it). Let each see how he builds (on it). 11 For, no one is able to set another foundation along side the one being laid, who is Jesus Christ.

16 Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and the Holy Spirit dwells in you? 17 If someone destroys the Temple of God, God will destroy this (person). For, the Temple of God is holy, who you are.

The spiritual concept of community makes the Western religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) unique. God not only dwells in the individual, but in the group.

St. Paul reflects on the community as the focal point of God's presence. Failing to see the bigger picture, the Corinthians had formed cliques and allegiances to various ministers (1 Cor. 3:4-5). To counteract their divisiveness, Paul argued that God called the community together and helped it grow. Seeing the local church as a missionary field, Paul saw himself, Apollos, and others as farm workers who seeded and harvested the field (1 Cor. 3:6-9a).

Suddenly, in mid-sentence, Paul used masonry images for the Church [9c]. The community was a building with Christ as the foundation [11] and with Paul, Apollos, and others as brick masons laying different levels [10]. The quality of the work may differ; God would reveal their work in time and would reward the workers accordingly (1 Cor. 3:12-15).

Paul finished the discussion with a rhetorical question to bring the divided Corinthians back to the point. As the Temple of the Spirit, they belonged to God, not to their own little turf wars [16]. Anyone, whether minister or pew-dweller, who led them away from that fact would suffer God's wrath [17].

As the Church, God is with us and in us. But, lost in our own petty concerns, it is a reality that is so easy to forget.

Where do you fit into God's home, his Temple? Remember, you are an important part of the structure!