Immersed in Christ: February 10, 2020
Monday, Week Five of Ordinary Time
Lord, go up to the place of your rest.
(Responsorial: Psalm 132)
1 Kings 8: 1-13 faces us with the core mystery of Christianity, already present in God’s dealings with Israel. The mystery is the interaction between the divine and the human; the Infinite and the finite; the Unlimited, Indivisible, Inexpressible Truth of God revealing Itself to the limited intellects of humans totally incapable of understanding anything except in partial, fragmentary concepts. Trying to understand God with a human intellect is like someone taking still shots with a narrow-lens camera of the whole 360-degree horizon exploding in a volcanic eruption. We just “can’t get the picture.”
The mystery is that God can communicate anyway and reveal himself to humans. In today’s reading, and several times in the Old Testament and New, his presence was accompanied by a luminous cloud, the shekinah, so bright the Scripture calls it “dark.”
Now that the mystery of grace is revealed, we know that those who share in the divine life of God also share in God’s own act of knowing. That is what the “gift of faith” is. It is called the “dark light” of faith because what we see by faith we see “indistinctly, as in a mirror” through the incomplete, distorting “still shots” of our human intellects. But we are still seeing by the light of God himself, and it is the most certain knowledge that exists.
God has “translated” his Infinite Truth into human words that were recorded in the Scriptures. They are available to us. Today. We can read the human translation of God’s thought whenever we want, with no “bright cloud” keeping us at a distance. God’s presence filling the Temple is no more awesome than God’s own Truth available to us in a book, “a dwelling” where his Truth “abides forever.”
The Jews welcomed God with jubilation into the house they had built for him.
All the people of Israel assembled.... So they brought up the ark of the LORD.... sacrificing so many sheep and oxen that they could not be counted or numbered.
Should we not be just as eager to welcome his words into our minds and hearts? To read his words in Scripture? Give them a “dwelling place” in our hearts? Let them bless us by their presence in our awareness? How can any of us who are in our right minds fail to become disciples; that is, committed learners whose lifestyle is built around reading and reflecting on God’s words?
Mark 6:53-56 tells us that “wherever Jesus put in an appearance.... all who touched him got well.” If the touch of his hand did that to bodies, what will the touch of his words on our mind do for our hearts and souls? Are we ready to “enroll” as his disciples?
, history, science, technology done for human life? What can knowledge
 Cf. Isaiah 55:6-11; Matthew 11:25-30; Hebrews 1:1.
 See Exodus 19:9; 24:15-16; Matthew 17:5.
 1Corinthians 13:12; 2Corinthians 3:1-18. See the “dark light of faith,” John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, Book II, chapters 9-10, where John quotes today’s passage. See also the 14th century classic on which centering prayer is based, The Cloud of Unknowing (Image Books. ed. William Johnston).