Memorial of Saint Alphonsus Liguouri

Ex 40:16-21,34-38;  Ps 84:3-11; Mt 13:47-53

Do our souls yearn and pine for anything?  Do our hearts and flesh cry out for anything?  The sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for her young.  King David found his home near the altar of the Lord of hosts.  The Lord approved the heart of the Shepard David because he would rather lie at the threshold of the house of God than dwell in the tents of the wicked.  Birds and kings find their safety and strength in the dwelling place of the Lord God Almighty.  Where are we at home?  Are we at home in the dwelling place of the Lord of Hosts?  The Dwelling that Moses built for the Lord followed them all along the stages of their journey.  The Incarnate Son of God dwells among us even now.  Where the King is there is the Kingdom.  In Christ Jesus we are at home and in his dwelling place we hear the parables again and again.  The head of our household brings from the depths of the storeroom both the new and the old.  The new visions and the old dreams instruct us all along the stages of our journey to the Father.


The Lord did not need a tent in which to dwell.  The Lord did not need an ark on which to rest his feet.  Moses and the people, the liberated slaves, needed a tent in which to meet the Lord who had liberated them and who promised to accompany them on the journey.  On the first day of the first month of the second year of their liberation the Lord God commanded Moses to erect a meeting tent and design an ark for the commandments to rest.  The Lord knows that his people still need a place to find rest.   Like our ancestors on the way to the Promised Land, we need to sit still and savor the Lord’s gracious presence among us on our way home to the Father.  Indeed we go from strength to strength as we praise the Lord.  Our praise arises from hearts instructed by the commands of the Lord preserved in the Ark of the Covenant.  Every time we enter into the Dwelling the cloud of Glory rests upon us and when the cloud rises we know it’s time to move on to the next stage of our journey.  This cloud is nothing less than the Holy Spirit who even at night is a fire to warm us in our rest and guide us all along the way.


For the past few weeks we have delighted in the parables of the Lord Jesus.  Today’s gospel is the end of our course.  The Lord Jesus has built a tent of teaching, a storehouse of instruction.  He is the wise and learned scribe who brings out for us both the new and the old.  Our hearts are refreshed as we rest in the word icons of the Kingdom that is already among us.  We hear the stories of light and glory that are need as we face a new stage in our journey of faith.  Unless we understand all these things we cannot face the ultimate lesson of the cross.  True understanding of the Kingdom of God, established in our hearts and lived in our actions, will enable us to take up our cross daily and lay down our lives in loving service.  The full glory of the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the ultimate lesson for those who yearn and pine for the courts of the Lord.  Through the door of the cross do we enter into our glory and shine bright with the Glory of the Holy Spirit.  Through this divine light in our dark and hopeless world will all men and women come to know the fulfillment of their deepest desire.  In this Dwelling Place of the Holy Eucharist the Lord provides a meeting tent for all who are lost and need to rest all along the journey home.