Saturday, August 20, 2016

Here I Will Dwell

Memorial of Saint Bernard, Abbot, and Doctor of the Church

Then I heard someone speaking to me from the temple, while the man stood beside me. The voice said to me: Son of man, this is where my throne shall be, this is where I will set the soles of my feet; here I will dwell among the children of Israel forever.  Ezekiel 43:6-7AB

Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example. For they preach but they do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they will not lift a finger to move them. All their works are performed to be seen. Matthew 23:3-5A

Near indeed is his salvation for those who fear him; glory will dwell in our land. Love and truth will meet; justice and peace will kiss. Truth will spring from the earth; justice will look down from heaven. Yes, the LORD will grant his bounty; our land will yield its produce. Justice will march before him, and make a way for his footsteps. (Psalm 85:10-14)

Near indeed.  Jesus wants to be as close as your immediate family. 

Ezekiel was rightly surprised that the Lord has chosen to move in next to him.  Maybe not more surprised than Mary of Nazareth, but surprised nonetheless.  Yet on a weekly (or daily basis), our celebration of the Mass is when Jesus says the same to us.  Here in you, I will dwell this week.  Open up and take me with you when you go forth in love and service.

If we open up, our Lord will come to us. Maranatha. 
20 hours ago

When we think about the Lord dwelling with us, it is hard not to think of the tens of thousands of people in the Louisiana flood areas who have no place to dwell today.  The flooding in Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes is more extensive than anyone expected -- more than 40,000 homes have been damaged and more than 100,000 people have been affected.  Yet the news media is obsessed with covering the controversy of vandalism by swimmers in Rio. 

Our hearts break for Louisiana again – a state that is still rebuilding after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita more than ten years ago.  Schools and business and roads remain closed.  People must boil water before drinking it (if they have power to their stove). State Farm alone has more than 22,000 claims. 

You can chip in right now to help the Baton Rouge Area Foundation ( or the Capital Area United Way ( in Baton Rouge.  These not-for-profit groups are among those which are doing critical work to provide medical assistance and supplies to the victims of this natural disaster and which are directing money to community non-profits that need it for the people who REALLY NEED HELP. United Way also has a list of the supplies they need to be donated to clean up. 

Near indeed.  

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