|I don't know what it is, but there it is|
on a street in the heart of London.
LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep your covenant of mercy with your servants who are faithful to you with their whole heart.
“Can it indeed be that God dwells on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you,
how much less this temple which I have built!
There may have been eyebrows raised in the ancient near-east as King Solomon consecrated his signature temple to the One God of Heaven and Earth.
The assembly must have comprised more than the dignitaries of the Jewish nation. Solomon had struck marriage-treaties with foreign nations and his many wives, with their eunuchs and maids, continued to worship their foreign gods in Jerusalem.
Perhaps there were other ambassadors from those nations, and a few spies, reporting directly to the Pharaoh in Egypt and the king in Damascus.
Judah and Israel, under King Solomon, just wasn't big enough to claim to build a house for the Supreme Being of the Heavens and the Earth. More powerful neighbors with more splendid temples might have snickered at the audacity in Jerusalem.
But faith has its own way of making statements about God. The heart thrilled with divine visitation sings alleluias and hosannas and cannot be denied its certainty that, "God has looked upon me in my lowliness."
Poets and sages throughout the centuries have been wonder-struck at the miracle of God's humility. The God who created "billions and billions of galaxies" abides in the tiny places we afford him.
The English poet John Donne, celebrated that mystery in the second sonnet of La Carona:
Salvation to all that will is nigh ;Saint Francis also celebrated with astonishment the wonder of God's appearing before us in the Blessed Sacrament:
That All, which always is all everywhere,
Which cannot sin, and yet all sins must bear,
Which cannot die, yet cannot choose but die,
Lo ! faithful Virgin, yields Himself to lie
In prison, in thy womb ;
Let everyone be struck with fear, let the whole world tremble, and let the heavens exult when Christ, the Son of the living God, is present on the altar in the hands of a priest! O wonderful loftiness and stupendous dignity!
O sublime humility! O humble sublimity! The Lord of the Universe, God and the Son of God, so humbles himself that for our salvation he hides himself under an ordinary piece of bread!
(Sisters and) Brothers, look at the humility of God, and pour out your hearts before him! Humble yourselves that you may be exalted by him! Hold nothing back of yourselves for yourselves, that he who gives himself totally to you may receive you totally!
Let us enter the Season of Lent with Francis' exhortation ringing in our ears. No one can be more humble than God, but as we acknowledge and claim our sins we can at least share our humiliation with the Crucified One.