Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of December 24, 2007
What and where is sacred ground?
By SR. LOUISE ZDUNICH, NDC
We make that sacred ground real in us when we become conscious of the presence of God.
Holiness extends to all that touches God or is in relationship with the divine. The Temple is holy for God dwells in it. Holiness includes persons and things who, by their consecration, are associated with worship and sacrifices, as well as the people chosen by God who have become "a kingdom of priests and a holy people" (Exodus 19:6).
The New Testament mentions God's holiness less frequently and only occasionally applies it to Jesus.
However, holiness is associated with the Church and its members. Paul calls the Church a temple holy to God: "In Jesus, the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple of the Lord into whom you also are built together into a dwelling place for God" (Ephesians 2:21-22).
In Acts and the Epistles, Christians are called "the saints." Their sanctification has been accomplished by God through Christ. So what is holy ground today and how can I find it? Obviously, we consider the places where Jesus walked to be holy ground but we need not go that far to find it.
We are holy ground; I am sacred ground; the person beside me is holy ground; the praying community is sacred ground. How? We have been created in the image of God.
Jesus and the Father live in us: "If you love me, you will keep my word and my Father will love you and we shall come to you and make our home with you" (John 15:23).
Paul admonished his listeners: "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19). So the Holy Trinity make their home in us.
What powerful images to convince us that we are sacred ground! The burning bush was sacred ground because God was in it. Since God dwells in us, we, too, are holy or sacred ground. Yes, we, weak human beings, are really holy ground - hard to believe sometimes, isn't it?
We make that sacred ground real in us when we become conscious of the presence of God, when we touch God in prayer and God touches us. But especially, the sacredness of each person becomes real when we live each day, fully aware of God working in and through us as we reach out to others as God reaches out to us.
That's awesome! Just think about it! It is enough food for reflection during this whole season of Advent as we prepare to celebrate, with love, gratitude and faithfulness, Christ's birth in our world and his continual re-birth in our lives.
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