The Lord is nigh
The Eternal Wisdom declared: My delights were to be with the children of men (Pr. 8.31). Among men, He first dwelt in the midst of Israel (Ex. 25.8; Num. 35.34; 2 Ki. – 2 Sam. in non-Catholic versions – 7.6) and manifested His almighty liberating presence through the Ark of the Covenant (1 Ki. 4.6-7; 1 Par. – Chronicles in non-Catholic versions – 16.1) and the pillar of cloud or the Shekinah over the Ark in the Holy of Holies (Ex. 40.32-34; 3 Ki. – 1 Ki. in non-Catholic versions – 8.10-12). I have been with thee wheresoever thou hast walked, and have slain all thy enemies from before thy face… and shall be disturbed no more: neither shall the children of iniquity afflict [thee] anymore… I will give thee rest from all thy enemies (2 Ki. 7.9,10,11). Such was the great blessing and peace that came with God’s election of Israel: I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be My people (Lev. 26.12) – so long as they hearkened and walked not contrary to the laws and judgments (cf., v.15) of the Eternal Word Who spoke through the mouths of the Prophets and His ministers – the priests ordained with the Levitical unction.
However, God’s liberating presence of Old prefigured only what the Eternal Wisdom would bring about when, through His Incarnation, He comes and dwells (Zach. 2.10: Sing praise, and rejoice, O daughter of Sion: for behold I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee) a High Priest… by a greater and more perfect tabernacle (Heb. 9.11): that He might destroy the works of the devil (1 Jn. 3.8). But, alas! He had been coming and dwelling in our tabernacles by the Holy Eucharist on His high altar from the rising of the sun even to the going down (Mal. 1.11) yet too many did not know Him (St. John the Baptist in today’s Gospel, Jn. 1.19-28) – they sought the Lord God that He might free them from earthly cares.
The Lord is nigh. Be nothing solicitous… The more a soul concentrates its desires and affections on God, the more it will be freed from earthly cares. It will no longer be troubled about anything, knowing that only one thing is necessary, “to seek God,” and that in God it will find everything it needs. Hence to draw near to God, is to find not only true joy, but also true peace that comes from our liberation from our errors, blindness and foolhardiness (the Collect of today’s Mass) which lead us to walk contrary to and even despise what God has arranged. In Him, it has everything, and “God alone suffices” (St. Teresa of Jesus).