“When the priests came out of the holy place, a cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord.” (1 Kings 8:10-11)
Although God is everywhere, our catechism makes us understand that God dwells in a special way in the temple. That is why Jesus would go to the temple to drive out the money changers saying: “My House (that is, God’s dwelling place) shall be a house of prayer…” (Matthew 21:13).
We know God dwells in a temple because that is where the children of God gather to pray. Jesus again tells us that “wherever two or three are gathered in my name, I am with you.” (Matthew 18:20).
When Solomon finished building the temple, he made such a great sacrifice that the number of sheep and goats could not be numbered. There was a thick cloud in the temple, a visible sign of God’s presence. Today, our churches do not contain signs but the real presence of God in the Holy Eucharist. This is what Jesus has done for us by his death and resurrection.
It takes faith to recognise that God is present in the temple. It required faith of the people to see in Jesus, somebody more than just an ordinary man like them. As we read in today’s Gospel passage, the people RECOGNISED Jesus, they ran from all over the neighbourhood bringing with them the sick, and as many as those who touched even the fringe of his garments were made well.
The book of Hebrews tells us that without faith, it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6). Indeed, if we do not believe God is truly present in the dedicated Church building, how do we expect to pray well? If we do not believe in the power of Jesus to heal, we would not run towards Him as the people did in today’s Gospel passage.
Let us pray: Lord Jesus, increase my faith in your true presence. Amen.
Bible Study: 1 Kings 8:1-7,9-13, Ps. 132:6-10, Mark 6:53-56).