So Close

solomonI’ve always been amazed by the description of Solomon’s Temple: the dimensions, the gold, the cedar, the massive cherubim statues (1 Kings 6). It’s grandiose! The Israelites fostered a breathtaking awe for the presence of God in their midst. No ordinary person could enter the Holy of Holies. Only the high priest could enter once a year on the Day of Atonement. God’s presence among us is awesome in the true sense of the word, and the Hebrews lived it. God is awesome, and yet, God is close.

I just moved to our seminary in Rome. So many new things: new faces, new language(s!), new food, and a new room. A couple days ago I moved into my room for the year. The next morning as I was going out, I gazed into the room next to mine. Whoever lived there left the door open for me to cast a curious glance inside. I could hardly repress a little jump for joy (which would have looked rather strange in my cassock) to discover that Jesus was the one who left the door open. That room had been made into a little chapel, and there Jesus was, open door and open arms, waiting for me in the silence and simplicity of a room just like mine. God is awesome, and yet, so close. How humble to choose to come down from glorious Heaven, with all his angels and saints, not just to the grandiosity of Solomon’s Temple or St Peter’s Basilica, but to the simplicity of our local Church or our school chapel or to the room right next to mine. I have never had such a next door neighbor. Imagine how well I sleep at night.

This closeness and humility of Christ in the Eucharist is a gem that shines out the meekness and tender love of a God that longs to be with us. Don’t forget. Learn from him there. We can take this precious presence so much for granted. Take this passage from Exodus (Ex 19:16-19):

On the morning of the third day there was thunder and lightning, with a thick cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast. Everyone in the camp trembled. Then Moses led the people out of the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. Mount Sinai was covered with smoke, because the Lord descended on it in fire. The smoke billowed up from it like smoke from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently. As the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder, Moses spoke and the voice of God answered him.

That is an awesome God, and that same awesome God is waiting for me in the room next door.

About Br Dain Scherber LC

Br Dain Scherber LC is a religious seminarian of the Legionaries of Christ. Born and raised on a dairy farm in central Minnesota, he attended the Legion’s high-school seminary in New Hampshire at the age of 13. He did his first two years of seminary in Dublin, Ireland before being transferred to Connecticut, where he continued his studies in the classical humanities for two years and worked as an assistant on the formation team for four years. He is currently studying philosophy at the Legion’s Center for Higher Studies in Rome.
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