Sun, 9 February 2020
(1Kgs.8:1-7,9-13; Ps.132:6-10; Mk.6:53-56)
“Let us enter into His dwelling,
let us worship at His footstool.”
“Advance, O Lord, to your resting place, you and the ark of your majesty.” Yes, in our first reading, “the elders of Israel and all the leaders of the tribes” come to bring the ark of the Lord into the temple Solomon has built in Jerusalem. “For the occasion [they] sacrificed before the ark sheep and oxen too many to number or count.” When the ark was in its place in the holy of holies, “the Lord’s glory… filled the temple” in the form of a cloud. The Lord’s presence had come to rest in this “princely house.” But this shall not be a dwelling “where [He] may abide forever,” as Solomon says; for the eternal Temple is Jesus.
In our gospel “crowds scurried about the adjacent area and began to bring in the sick on bedrolls” when the Lord and His disciples tied up their boat in Genessaret. Here as everywhere He went “they laid the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him to let them touch just the tassel of His cloak.” Mark tells us, “All who touched Him got well.” Here is the true Temple at work, a place where prayers are answered, where healing is known. As the ark was placed “beneath the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary,” so the Father has the angels spread their wings over His Son, guarding and blessing His every step. As when the ark is brought in to the holy of holies, the Lord’s glory fills the temple, so when He comes to us, when we but touch Him, we are filled with His presence and made whole. As the Israelites crowded into the temple to offer sacrifice, so now all in need surround the Lord to share in the holy sacrifice of His Body and Blood.
Here is the Temple not made by human hands, brothers and sisters. Here is the Lord’s eternal dwelling place. Here is Jesus, the Son of God. In all the tabernacles of all the churches throughout the world He rests, His presence abides. Let us flock to Him. Let us receive Him into our hearts and bodies. Let us know His healing touch upon our souls. Let us pray with our psalmist, “May your priests be clothed with justice; let your faithful ones shout merrily for joy.” For here is His holy presence; here is the glory of the Lord. Here He hears our prayers as we call upon His Name and worship before Him each day. Here He enters in and makes His home with us, and so we, too, become temples of the Lord.
O LORD, may we but touch your Son and be healed,
your cloud of glory filling our souls.
YHWH, your Word has become flesh; the Law you inscribed on the two tablets of stone now walks among us in the Person of Jesus. Here is the true Temple, your dwelling where you abide forever. To Him should we come in praise and worship to find healing that we might rest with you.
O LORD, make us holy as He is holy; let us enter your sanctuary, the wings of your angels spread above us for protection. Yes, let us become as the Body of your Son as we partake of His Word and Sacrament here in your House. To your Temple let us come that we might be temples ourselves.
What should we not sacrifice to your glory? What should occupy us but finding your Presence in our midst? Should we not lay our sick souls at Jesus’ feet; should we not seek to enter His tabernacle? O let us enter your dwelling place and make our home in His flesh and blood!