Exodus 40:16-21, 34-38
Psalm 84: 3, 4, 5,-6a and 8a
Matthew 13: 47-53
The first reading from Exodus tells us that Moses did exactly as the Lord had commanded him. "The Dwelling was erected." God, the Lord, wants to come and live among the Israelites. He wants to make Himself part of them. He wants to make them part of Him. He makes them His people, His children, for He Himself, the Lord, is their Father. And in The Dwelling He meets them and lives among them.
But what does this message say to us today? Is it not the same: God wants to dwell with us? God our Father and Mother wants to be part of us. This passage from Exodus is a premonition and a preparation for when God will fully dwell in us, through the Incarnation: The Word become flesh, Jesus, the Divine Son, fully human in all things, and one with us.
The psalm that follows, I think, helps to lead us to this truth. While it certainly calls the people of Abraham to love, revere, and dwell in this Dwelling of God, doesn’t it urge us today to become one with Jesus, the Christ; to dwell with and in Him and his Father through their Spirit?
"How lovely is your dwelling place, Lord, mighty God!
My soul yearns and pines for the courts of the Lord,
My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."
The Dwelling erected by Moses has become the Divine Indwelling.
The Divine Indwelling, a theological term, formerly may have seemed very deep and mysterious. Today we have a better grasp of this mystery of faith. We grasp it in our hearts, through our pondering the gospels. How many times has Jesus told us that He and his Father/Mother are one, that They will send us the Spirit Who will make all clear, that They want to come to us and abide in us? All Three abiding in each other as One and wanting to abide in us, making us one with God and with each other: How great and glorious a mystery – how wonderful for us! My heart and my flesh indeed cry out for the living God. It calls us to the Eucharist – where Christ gives Himself to us and we give ourselves to Him.
In the gospel’s parable of the fishing net, Jesus tells us not to be concerned about separating the righteous from the evil. Leave that to the angels at judgment; you spend your time swimming, delighting, in The Divine Indwelling.
And his final parable shows just what these readings have done: The head of the household bringing from the storeroom both the new and the old.
Br. Peter A. Fitzpatrick, CFX, a Xaverian Brother, is a Passionist Associate at Ryken House, across the creek from the Passionist Monastery, in Louisville, Kentucky.