My Dear Good People,
In today’s first reading we hear God telling Moses to remove his sandals before the burning bush in the desert, because he was “standing on Holy Ground” (Exodus 3:5), ground made holy by the presence of God.
Pope Francis often reminds us that we walk on holy ground, usually when he is speaking in the context of our relationship with others. If we truly believe that God makes His dwelling in our souls, then He must dwell in the souls of those we encounter in the course of our day. As we come face to face with another person, we are indeed standing on Holy Ground, in the presence of God in the other. It’s easy to think of this when we think of mother and child, husband and wife, friend and friend, but when it comes to the homeless man asking for money from us at the stop light, difficult boss asking why that project isn’t ready, teacher who doesn’t understand our child, or the driver who cuts us off on the highway, it can be a different story. It’s hard to see the presence of God in people who don’t think like we do, don’t care about our feelings, make unreasonable demands of us, or simply interrupt our already busy day. But the Holy Father reminds us to ‘take off our shoes before the sacred ground of the other.” (Evangelii Gaudium)
Lent is a good time to call to mind the great gift of the Indwelling Presence of God. No burning bush for us, just the knowing that He is with us at every moment of the day and night. Here’s a good prayer I’d like to share with you. I say it many times a day, and it keeps me grounded. It also challenges me to ‘take off my shoes before the other,’ that is, to respect each person because she or he is intrinsically holy—whether or not it’s obvious. After all, God asks the same of those who stand before me.
Most Holy Trinity, tender Father, beloved Jesus, precious Holy Spirit, I adore You profoundly, present within me and in every person I encounter this day. Humbly I acknowledge that I am unworthy to be Your dwelling place, but I embrace You, and I love. Amen.
Mother Marie Julie, SCMC, Superior General