In the Old Testament, human worship was originally held at handmade altars. We see this pattern with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Job.
At the time of Moses, God centralized worship at a divinely commanded tent that housed the Ark of the Covenant. This tent was known as the tabernacle. It could be taken down, moved to a new place in the wilderness, and pitched again.
During the time of King David, God gave the plans for a permanent stone tabernacle which is known as the temple. David’s son Solomon built this temple in Jerusalem. It was a house of prayer for all nations.
There is a difference in these two places of worship.
The tabernacle of Moses was built by Jews alone for Jews alone. King Solomon’s temple was built by Jews and pagan Sidonians and Tyrenians. Moreover, King Solomon’s temple was built to be a “house of prayer for all nations.”
The temple reveled to the Jews that God’s scope of salvation included all of mankind. When Christ came proclaiming himself as the new Temple of God, he was claiming that He would include both Jews and Gentiles in the cultic worship of God.
In The Crucified Rabbi, we examine how the Catholic Church is the Third and Final Temple because it is the Body of Christ resurrected from the dead. “Jesus answered, and said to them: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” (Jn 2:19)
The Catholic Church is the locus of true human worship. It is a building constructed of human stones consecrated by the Blood Christ in which the Holy Ghost dwells. This living temple is truly universal, or to use the Greek word, it is truly katholik.
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