December 21, 2014 - 4th Sunday of Advent, Year B
Saint Martin de Tours Catholic Church
The first reading asks us to reflect on the question: where does God dwell?
At the time of King David, the sign of God’s presence among the Israelites was the Ark of the Covenant. The Ark contained the stone tablets on which the ten commandments were inscribed.
During that period of history, the Ark was kept in a tent. This is the place where the Israelite’s believed that God dwelt.
The Israelites had carried the Ark of the Covenant with them in their journey to the promised land.
And now King David wanted to build a house for the Ark. He wanted to build a temple, a place for God to dwell. He wanted to build a house for God.
The Prophet Nathan said that the Lord had revealed to him that God wanted to establish a house for King David instead.
So where does God dwell? For the Israelites God’s dwelling was the Holy of Holies, the Ark of the Covenant.
For us Catholic Christians we believe that our God dwells in the tabernacles of Catholic Churches throughout the world.
And while this is most certainly true, the Angel Gabriel says something very different.
Don’t be afraid Mary. The Lord is with you.
The Lord God takes up dwelling within a teenage girl.
The girl asks: how can this be? The angel answers: nothing is impossible for God.
The angel says to name the child Emmanuel, God with us. This divine name tells us where God dwells.
The Lord God does not just dwell in the tabernacles of the world. The Lord God dwells in our hearts of flesh.
We think: that’s impossible. But the place where God chooses to dwell is in and among us.
God lives in me. God lives in you. God chooses to make his home in me. God chooses to make his home in you.
I suspect we’d prefer God to stay in the tabernacles because if God is really going to live in me then I am really going to have to change.
Mary carried the Lord God within her. This made her holy and full of grace.
The Angel Gabriel comes here and says: Do not be afraid. You have found favor with God.
As we approach this Eucharistic table we hear the words: the Body of Christ. We say: Amen. And the Word is made Flesh.
We receive within ourselves the sacred Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. And for God, what is impossible becomes Emmanuel, God with us.
Maranatha. Come Lord Jesus. Come dwell in us.