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Monday, February 5, 2018

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St. Agatha

1 Kings 8:1-7, 9-13
Psalm 132:6-10
Mark 6:53-56

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"you are my hiding place"

"The Lord intends to dwell in the dark cloud." —1 Kings 8:12

In today's first Eucharistic reading and psalm response, God makes the Temple His home on earth. Yet in the process of dwelling among us, God hides in the dark cloud which fills the Temple (1 Kgs 8:10ff). In today's Gospel reading, Jesus, God incarnate, leaves that Temple and goes out to Gentile territory. Yet shortly thereafter Jesus hides Himself and "wanted no one to recognize Him" (Mk 7:24). The people must search for Him (see Mk 6:55).

It seems that God, in His mystery, chooses to reveal Himself by hiding. In so doing, God reveals He is a Person Who wishes to be known by love. Did you ever hide yourself in your bedroom, hoping that the cute guy or girl in your school would miraculously give you a phone call? If so, you have a glimpse of the feeling the Lord has toward us when He seemingly is hiding from us.

The good news is that, by His hiding, the Lord is available to us all. He doesn't hide due to a lack of love, but rather out of a desire to draw us out of ourselves, away from the lures of the world, the flesh, and the devil (see 1 Jn 2:16). He hides from us because of the intensity of His love for us. God's Word implores us to seek Him while He may be found (Is 55:6). Jesus urges us to seek and we will find (Mt 7:8). Jesus hides on the cross, turning down His glory and humbling Himself. He hides in a tabernacle, in a host, and in the chalice. He hides Himself in His Word.

From the cross, Jesus exclaimed: "I am thirsty" (Jn 19:28). Give Jesus a drink. Search for Him and find Him. Jesus is not hiding from you; He is hiding for you. Make your heart His hiding place, and He will hide Himself in you (Jn 6:56; 17:23).

Prayer:  Jesus, give me the strength to bring others through the cloud into Your arms of love.

Promise:  "Let us enter into His dwelling, let us worship at His footstool." Ps132:7

Praise:  The virgin St. Agatha dedicated herself to her Spouse, giving up her safety, health, and even her life for Jesus.

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

Rescript:  †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 10, 2017

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