Our Lady of Lourdes (Optional Memorial)
Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth?
“Father, is it possible? Can you really dwell on earth? King Solomon wondered this as he dedicated his Temple to you. ‘If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,’ he asked, ‘how much less this temple which I have built!’ (1 Kings 8:27). How could you, who made the stars, come and live in a building made of wood and stone? And even more important, why would you want to? With the vast expanse of heaven stretched out before you, what could be so compelling about this one spot in the universe that you would want to dwell here?
“There is only one possible answer: love. It’s the reason why you created this world in the first place. You wanted a people with whom you could share your creative, overflowing love. And to show us your love—to prove it without a shadow of a doubt—you came and revealed yourself to us. You spoke your laws to us, you rescued us from slavery in Egypt, you formed us through your prophets. Day after day, you showed that you are with us and that you longed for us to be with you.
“Then came the biggest surprise of all. You came to dwell, not just through your word, not just through historical events, not just through the beauty of creation, but as a human being, fully man and fully God. Jesus entered your creation in the most complete, permanent way possible—because you loved us. Who could imagine such humility and devotion? Who could possibly conceive of such a drastic and marvelous plan?
“But even that wasn’t enough for you. From Pentecost until today—and until the Second Coming—Jesus continues to dwell on earth by dwelling in us! By your Spirit, Jesus has made each of us into a temple of your presence, more sacred, even, than Solomon’s Temple.
“Father, I stand amazed at your goodness and generosity. I marvel that you would love us so deeply. I marvel that you would love me so deeply. Lord, give me a greater reverence for your presence in me—and in every single person you have called your own.”
“How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!” (Psalm Response)
Psalm 84:3-5, 10-11