Today’s readings once again give ‘food for thought’ regarding the numerous ways God is present to us. In the Liturgy of Hours this morning, one of the psalm antiphons offered the heading for today’s blog entry: “Adore the Lord in His holy court.” This gave me pause to think of the significant ways Christ is present.
Namely, this is the three-fold presence of the LORD: Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament, at the same time, Christ is present with the Father, while at the same moment, Christ dwells within the believer. Our faith tells us that Christ is ONE, and there is a great UNITY Christ creates in His oneness.
Today’s first reading, 1 Kings, 8:1-13, we hear of the moment King Solomon brings the ark of the covenant to the newly built temple in Jerusalem. The procession of the ark included so many sacrificed sheep and oxen, they were too numerous to count. The tablets of the ten commandments which the ark contained, speak of God’s desire to accompany His people, and of the great desire of God that we live in a manner worthy of His abiding presence with us. The description of the cloud that filled the ‘holy of holies’ speaks of God’s great desire to ‘abide with us.’
The Gospel today provides another account of Jesus in the midst of the people. He comes to reveal (in the flesh) the mercy, compassion, fidelity and love of God. Once again in today’s Gospel, many find healing from the presence and power of Christ.
As we know, following Christ’s death and resurrection, he established the Church. He promised to remain with us always. In the Eucharist, celebrated and reserved around the world, Christ abides in His Church. Through the Sacraments, Jesus takes up His dwelling within each of us.
Think of this great dignity! Christ, the living God, has taken up His dwelling place within you and me! The love of God is ours through the presence of the Living God within us. This same abiding presence of the LORD moves and motivates us to love others in His name, on His behalf. This same presence of Christ who makes us ONE with Himself, who abides in others, makes us ONE with one another.
Christ is our UNITY. Christ is the answer to His own prayer: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are.” (John 17:11)
Christ is present in the Blessed Sacrament, present to the Father, and present in each of us, making us one. May we live today in perfect communion with Christ by our peaceful unity with and service to each other.