The Holy of Holies

This week, ten years ago, the second graders were in the atrium, and a young Hindu boy sat working alone with the Maxims (New Testament moral statements). Across the room, a group of boys sat with their backs to him while they worked with the blocks with which they could build the model city of Jerusalem. Despite my efforts and the attempts of teachers in other classrooms, this group of boys had persisted in isolating and mocking the young Hindu for his different skin color and belief system.

He brought to me the tablet with Paul’s words, “Your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you”, and asked, “What does this mean?”

“What vision does it give you?” I asked, turning the question around for him.

He gazed in silence for a moment at the boys across the room then pinched the skin of his wrist, drawing it upward. “I think it means this is made from God, and so are they.” Here he pointed at his tormentors. “I think it means we must love each other; I should go to them.”

And he did.

Before this conversation I would have told you that God’s temple was the Holy of Holies represented in our atrium by just one of the blocks those boys worked with at the Jerusalem table. Forevermore, I see it now revealed in the faces of all those around me. To be a catechist with the children is to have such revelations of God incarnate unveiled daily before us; it is to live in a new spiritual world, a world of hope for the future and faith in the children of God.