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Be The Tabernacle

November 21, AD2014

Can the infinite and eternal God become small enough to fit inside of us, body, blood, soul and divinity?  The ENTIRE Christ, not an abstract omnipresence.

If you are a Christian, the answer should be a resounding “Yes!”  Mary was the first person to experience this personal and miraculous relationship with Christ.

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you!” And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. And the angel said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.” (Luke 1:26-28, 31, 35)

Thus, a created being became a living tabernacle of the Lord. Like the Ark of the Covenant of old, Mary, the fulfillment of the Ark, took the joy, power and presence of the Lord wherever she went.

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy.” (Luke 1:39-44)

The Incarnation was a one-time event 2,000 years ago. But is it over? Jesus said “no.”

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. He became our bread to stay with us. It’s no coincidence that He chose to be born in Bethlehem — the House of Bread.

In a certain sense Mary lived her Eucharistic faith even before the Institution of the Eucharist, by the very fact that she offered her virginal womb for the Incarnation of God’s Word. The Eucharist, while commemorating the passion and resurrection, is also in continuity with the incarnation. At the Annunciation Mary conceived the Son of God in the physical reality of his body and blood, thus anticipating within herself what to some degree happens sacramentally in every believer who receives, under the signs of bread and wine, the Lord’s body and blood.

This Advent, let us focus on preparing the way of the Lord into our bodies and souls by going to confession so that we can make straight His path. In the Holy Eucharist, we become living tabernacles of the Lord. We are called to bring Christ to each other. By receiving Him, body, blood, soul and divinity we can help another’s soul leap for joy.

Photography: See our Photographers page.

About the Author:

A cradle Catholic and married father of 2 sons. An Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in Detroit, MI whose responsibilities include the formation of resident psychiatrists and junior medical students preparing for a career in medicine.

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  • Beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Trisha

    Great Job and easy to read. I too found I would love to hear more.

  • Kevin Aldrich

    This would make a great little homily!

  • Guy McClung

    Dear Dr Victor, Great article, thank you. You may want to consider a longer piece or even book about your insights: eg : THE THEOLOGY OF THE BODY AS TABERNACLE. I look back on years ago – eg when in military service – and some of the downright foul language I used regularly – and then juxtapose that with, in that same mouth, receiving Our Lord. I was a “Christ-bearer”, but from that same “tabernacle” issued words not fit for the sewer. I am trying not to utter anything I would not say in the presence of Him. Guy McClung, San Antonio