Today’s Gospel (Luke 1:5-25) prompts these simple thoughts:
The Jewish people were so filled with awe, amazement, respect and reverent fear for the Ark of the Covenant located in their midst, that only once a year was the high priest permitted to enter the inner sanctuary of the tabernacle and go behind the veil that separated the “Holy of Holies” from the “Holy Place,” the Temple’s second holiest chamber, and the rest of the temple area. The other Jewish priests burned incense and offered prayers in the “Holy Place” at the morning and evening sacrifices while crowds prayed in the Temple courts.[i] Priests like Zechariah drew lots to determine which one of their priestly number would be selected to enter and incense this sacred space. It was a great honor and privilege for the priest chosen to experience this intimate encounter with the Lord – something the average Jew could never experience.
Today, we Catholics can approach the tabernacles in our Churches where our Lord is really, truly and substantially present in the Blessed Sacrament anytime we enter those sacred buildings. We do not have to draw straws. We do not have to be ordained priests. We do not have to limit our visit to just once a year. We can be with Him every single day. The choice is up to us. Yet, far too few of us ever make that choice. Consequently, our God, the Prince of Peace, often remains alone, abandoned, and forgotten.
Is there any wonder why chaos rather than peace reigns in so many hearts, in our Church and throughout the world?
Go visit He Who Is and let Him change your heart!