Monday, February 6, 2012

Looking for the Ark

The first reading today describes the setting up of Solomon's temple and the Ark of the Covenant. According to this reading the Ark contained the two tablets of Moses from mount Horeb. The point of contact with the divine. This became for the people of Israel the dwelling place of God. The foundation for our concept of tabernacle. The temple, the Holy of Holies, the Ark at its center.

The loss of the ark was a devastating blow to the community, and there are a variety of legends as to where the ark went.

For Christians the new Ark was, first of all, Mary who carried the child Jesus in her womb. In our churches the tabernacle is where we keep the Eucharist, the Body of Christ.

We can in fact go one step further. For Christians each of us, by virtue of our baptism, are the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, the dwelling place of God.

The people of Israel handle the Ark with care and reverence and hopefully in each of our churches we treat the Eucharist and tabernacle with reverence and respect. The next question is do we treat our bodies with the same respect.

While the healthcare debate is complex, one factor which we must recognize is our own behavior. Despite all we know there are still those who smoke. Childhood obesity is at an all time high. Do we even think of these as moral choices? It's not simply a matter of good health, it's respecting the dwelling place of God.