Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth? 

Solomon had finally done it. Years ago, his father, David, dreamed of building a temple for the Lord (2 Samuel 7:1-14). But God told David to let his son Solomon undertake the task. And that’s exactly what happened. After becoming king, Solomon built a magnificent temple! Yesterday’s reading showed us how, at the dedication ceremony, Solomon marveled over what he had done: “I have indeed built you a princely house, the base for your enthronement forever” (1 Kings 8:13).

But then Solomon realized that he had it all wrong. Today we read how, at that very same ceremony, he asked, “Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth?” (1 Kings 8:27). God was far too big, far too majestic, to live in any building made by human hands. “If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,” Solomon said to the Lord, “how much less this temple which I have built!” (1 Kings 8:27).

At that moment, Solomon got it right. No one can contain the Lord. He is not a “small g” god who is limited to one place; he can’t possibly be contained in a building, no matter how majestic it is. God is everywhere, and his glory fills the whole earth.

The awe that Solomon felt at that moment is the kind of awe that we can experience. We can stand in wonder that Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, actually does dwell on earth. Through our Baptism and the gift of his Spirit, he has even taken up residence in our hearts!

Everything Solomon proclaimed about God, you can proclaim about Jesus. What’s more, everything Solomon said about the Temple, you can now say about yourself. Raised from death and ascended to heaven, Jesus inhabits the whole of creation. He dwells in every Eucharistic tabernacle. And he lives in you!

You may feel unworthy. You may feel too small and insignificant. You may think of yourself as a run-down, rickety old shack. But God sees something different. He sees a beautiful, gleaming, glorious dwelling place for his Son. And he loves what he sees.

“Jesus, I am in awe that you would choose to live in me!”

1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
Psalm 84:3-5, 10-11
Mark 7:1-13


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