Wednesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

Lectionary: 319

“Go, tell my servant David, ‘Thus says the LORD: Should you build me a house to dwell in?
I have not dwelt in a house from the day on which I led the children of Israel out of Egypt to the present, but I have been going about in a tent under cloth.

The Athenians built one of the most beautiful buildings in the world for their goddess Athena; she lived in the Parthenon. I understand they didn’t actually visit with her there; the presence of this majestic building on the hilltop satisfied the lofty deity and her votaries. During festivities the priests went there to offer sacrifices; during crises everybody turned to her.
In the 1950’s, when I grew up, the church was God’s house. It was always unlocked and Jesus wanted us to pay him a visit. The nuns told us he was lonely in the tabernacle. Men returning from work, women with rambunctious toddlers, children with bicycles, teens with their sweethearts, athletes looking for a victory, widows looking for comfort: before the drug epidemics Catholic churches were open houses where God lived and people prayed privately. The open door and the sanctuary lamp assured us of God’s presence. Even if you didn’t have time to pay a visit you signed yourself with the Cross as you drove past the church.
If God’s displeasure rests upon us for the crime of abortion, the locked churches are a punishment almost too heavy to bear. 
However, today’s reading assures us the Lord does not need a house. Always, the believer finds signs of God's abiding nearness. Catholics leave our signs everywhere; our homes are marked by statues, crucifixes and icons. 

The Lord always finds a place to be near us but prefers the heart of a believer. 
Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.

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I love to write. This blog helps me to meditate on the Word of God, and I hope to make some contribution to our contemplations of God's Mighty Works.

Ordinarily, I write these reflections two or three weeks in advance of their publication. I do not intend to comment on current events.

I understand many people prefer gender-neutral references to "God." I don't disagree with them but find that language impersonal, unappealing and tasteless. When I refer to "God" I think of the One whom Jesus called "Abba" and "Father", and I would not attempt to improve on Jesus' language.

You're welcome to add a thought or raise a question.