Scripture: 1st Reading: 1kgs8,1-7,9-13; Resp. Psalm: Ps132,6-10; Gosp. Accl.: Mt4,23; Gospel: Mk6,53-56
The temple that David was prevented from building was eventually built by King Solomon his son. After the building of this magnificent place of encounter with Yahweh, the house was dedicated. This dedication was done with the greatest fanfare possible. The ark of the covenant was brought up in a magnificent procession to the new temple.
For that occasion, a lot of animal sacrifices were made. The priests and the people were in great joy before the Lord of all the earth. The faith of the people was on display. The shower their total devotion to Yahweh their God. We see also the total commitment of King Solomon and the place of Yahweh in his life.
The inner sanctuary of the temple, the most holy place, was where the Ark of the covenant was placed. The Ark contained only the two tables of stone containing the Law that Yahweh wrote in His hands and gave to the children of Israel. The word of God tells us today that "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."
The glory of the Lord was revealed to His people. His majesty was made known in this encounter. That glory is what our Lord revealed and the people saw who came to Him bringing their sick to be healed by Him. When our Lord arrived at Gennesaret, the people recognized Him because of the awesome glory of God in Him. They brought their sick on pallets to anywhere they heard He was. They "begged Him that they might touch even the fringe of His garment; and as many as touched it were made well."
The glory of God was revealed in the temple, in the holy often Holies, where the ark of the covenant was kept. A greater and perfect manifestation of that glory was seen in the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. That glory was deployed in favour of the people. St. Agatha, whose memorial we celebrate today, saw that glory of God. She was a young woman dedicated to Christ who she loved with the totality of her heart. Her total love led her to give her life for the Lord. She suffered one of the most cruel and vilest of all martyrdoms. May she intercede for us.
Let us pray: "May the Virgin Martyr Saint Agatha implore your compassion for us, O Lord, we pray, for she found favour with you by the courage of her martyrdom and the merit of her chastity." Amen.
May the Living Word of God find a true dwelling place within our hearts and souls today and always.