As we begin the schoolyear, my teammate, Anna, and I have begun our semi-monthly Friday night "FOCUS Women's Nights," but with a new spin. After a bit of brainstorming, we are now enjoying one another's company in Christ at "The House of Gold."
“The House of Gold” is a Marian title. Gold is the most beautiful, the most valuable, of all metals. In the ancient world, as today, gold was symbolic of worth. The title, "House of Gold" finds it's origin in the Old Testament, in the description of the magnificent Temple built to the Lord by King Solomon.
“And he made the oracle in the midst of the house, in the inner part, to set there the ark of the covenant of the Lord. Now the oracle was twenty cubits in length, and twenty cubits in breadth, and twenty cubits in height. And he covered it, and overlaid it with most pure gold. And the altar also he covered with cedar. And the house before the oracle he overlaid with most pure gold, and fastened on the plates with nails of gold. And there was nothing in the temple that was not covered with gold: the whole altar of the oracle he covered also with gold. And he made in the oracle two cherubims of olive tree, of ten cubits in height . . . And he overlaid the cherubims with gold. And the floor of the house he also overlaid with gold within and without. And in the entrance of the oracle, he made little doors of olive tree, and posts of five corners . . . And two doors of olive tree: and he carved upon them figures of cherubims, and figures of palm trees, and carvings very much projecting; and he overlaid them with gold: and he covered both the cherubims and the palm trees, and the other things, with gold.”
(3 Kings: 6)
Why was there such an abundance of gold used in the construction of this Temple? Solomon's Temple was built for the same reason that Churches are designed-to be places of beauty to call our minds away from the mundane world for a time, to speak and to listen to God. Churches serve as earthly dwellings for the Almighty.
The Blessed Virgin Mother is a "temple" which was prepared to receive the Living God, the same God Who filled the house of the Lord in the time of King Solomon. She, too, was "designed" to honor the Lord, to be a fit dwelling for God. The original Temple was overlaid with gold everywhere. Gold is symbolic of purity. Mary was kept free from the stain of Original Sin, preserved from any stain on her perfect soul. Thus, she became a worthy dwelling for our Lord, Jesus Christ. The grand Temple built by Solomon, was a pale foreshadowing of Mary, the true House of Gold.
Blessed John Henry Newman said, “Mary is the house and the palace of the Great King, of God Himself. Our Lord, the Co-equal Son of God, once dwelt in her. He was her Guest; nay, more than a guest, for a guest comes into a house as well as leaves it. But our Lord was actually born in this holy house. He took His flesh and His blood from this house, from the flesh, from the veins of Mary. Rightly then was she made to be of pure gold, because she was to give of that gold to form the body of the Son of God. She was golden in her conception, golden in her birth. She went through the fire of her suffering like gold in the furnace, and when she ascended on high she was, in the words of our hymn. Above all the Angels in glory untold, standing next to the king in a vesture of Gold.”
Friday nights at the "House of Gold" provide the women of ASU a community to grow in virtue and selfless love of others in reflection of our Mother Mary. Together we strive to become houses of gold, too, growing in grace and purity through the intercession of our Blessed Mother, so that we may allow her Son to live with us, in us, and through us.
We had 30 girls attend our first "House of Gold" event! As a craft we all made friendship bracelets with miraculous medals.
The roommates of the "House of Gold."
Anna Brzozowski - FOCUS missionary
Lesley Minervini - junior landscape architecture student
Marisa Lopez - senior civil engineer student
Katie Bandy - senior kinesiology student
Emily German - FOCUS missionary