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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

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St. Alphonsus Liguori

Exodus 33:7-11; 34:5-9, 28
Psalm 103:6-13
Matthew 13:36-43

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intent on living with god

“Anyone who wished to consult the Lord would go to this meeting tent.” —Exodus 33:7

When the Israelites fled from Egypt, God remained with Israel in the desert, dwelling in the ark of the covenant under the cover of a large “meeting tent” (see Ex 33:7). In the meeting tent, “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one man speaks to another” (Ex 33:11). Eventually, King Solomon built a temple as the dwelling place of God to replace the meeting tent (see 2 Chr 3:1ff), but for many years the Lord dwelt in the presence of Israel inside a tent (see 2 Sm 7:2-7).

Then the Father sent His only begotten Son, Jesus, and He made His dwelling among us (Jn 1:14). This text can be translated as “Jesus pitched His tent among us.” St. Paul refers to our human body as an earthly “tent” (see 2 Cor 5:1, 4). Jesus comes to dwell in our tent, within our own hearts. Now God desires that His “meeting tent” be in our own heart, in our very body. We are to be meeting tents for Jesus, walking “dwelling places” who have Jesus living within us (see Jn 6:56; 17:23). Jesus dwells in our tent, and God’s Word declares: “No evil shall befall you, nor shall affliction come near your tent” (Ps 91:10).

In the Holy Eucharist, we literally receive Jesus into our body, our earthly tent. The Lord wants to abide with us even more than we want to be with Him. Jesus stands at the door of our “dwelling place” and knocks (see Rv 3:20), asking to be received. Will you let Him enter and make His dwelling in your life?

Prayer:  Lord, may I be a dwelling place where You reign.

Promise:  “Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness.” —Ps 103:8

Praise:  St. Alphonsus was a highly educated theologian who was also a prolific writer. Yet he insisted on clear, simple preaching. He once said: “I have never preached a sermon which the poorest old woman in the congregation could not understand.”

Reference:  (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)

Rescript:  In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant the Nihil Obstat for One Bread, One Body covering the period August 1, 2023 through September 30, 2023. Reverend Steve J. Angi, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio January 4, 2023

The Nihil Obstat ("Permission to Publish") is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat agree with the contents, opinions, or statements expressed.