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BEING WITH THE LORD

Father Francis's picture
Seventeenth Week in Ordinary Time

Ex. 40:16-21, 34-38 & Mt. 13:47-53

People who love each other very much find parting, even if for a short time, very painful. When they have to leave they keep something, perhaps a photo, as a memento to remind themselves of the one they love.

The people of the Old Testament were loved by God as equally as those of the New Testament. To show them His love He left His invisible presence in the Tent of Meeting in which was kept the Ark of the Covenant: this small box contained the two tablets of the Law given to Moses on Mount Sinai. They were God’s memento to His people, to remind them of His constant presence among them. In our churches we have our tabernacle in which we keep the Risen Lord. How much better off are we than the Jews! God is among us in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity and not just as a symbol.

To have a proper understanding of Christ’s presence, we must realise He is present primarily as the victim, given up in sacrifice to effect our union with the Father. It is also Jesus’ way of saying, “Behold I am with you always, even to the end of time.” The Ark was a sign of God’s covenant with His people; the Eucharist is the new covenant of God with us. It is a union more profound and more complete than that enjoyed by the chosen people of the Old Testament. Whenever we visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament we must approach Him with great love and reverence, and appreciate the truth that through Him we have entered into an intimate union of love with God our Father.

In the Gospel Jesus speaks of the Final Judgement when the good will be separated from the evil. If we are leading good lives, making God its centre, we have no need to fear our final judgement. Rather it is something we should look forward to because we are going to see God face to face.

Lord Jesus, we who want to be united with You, dispel any anxiety about death and judgement. Help us to set our hearts on the goal of seeing Your face, and joining You in the final banquet in Your heavenly kingdom.

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