Reflection for Tuesday, September 26, 2017: 25th Week in Ordinary Time.

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Hauser, Richard, S.J.
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"Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord" (Ps 122:1).|We need holy places! Holy places became the  axes between heaven and earth,  awakening the awareness of God's in-breaking into our  mundane human condition. Their presence in our communities reminds us of where we come from and where we are going!|Today's reading from Exekiel recalls the centrality of the temple for the Jews. Further the Responsorial Psalm reflects the sheer exultation the Jews felt  visiting the temple – the symbol of their origin and destiny: "Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord"!    |Haven't we all had similar experiences?|I recall visiting the Church of the Holy Sepulcure in Jerusalem. I recall waiting outside the Church and being jostled by the noisy crowd of chattering tourists pushing one another through the narrow doors. But once inside, enveloped in the hushed darkness, we are crawling through the narrow passageway to empty tomb and we are standing before Calvary. We are stunned: here Jesus was crucified and buried!|We fall silent.|I recall visiting the St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.  I recall waiting outside with a large crowd of noisy tourists. But once within, we are over whelmed by the sacred splendor and we process silently to the magnificent Bernini high altar. Beneath the altar are stairs descending to a subterranean grave containing a little box with the bones of St. Peter. Here on Vatican Hill an obscure Jewish fisherman gave his life witnessing to Jesus.  Here our Church began.|We fall silent.|Near Mexico City I visited the shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The shrine houses the miraculous portrait of Mary imprinted on the apron of the Mexican peasant Juan Diaz. Outside the shrine vendors loudly sell souvenirs. Inside the shrine barefoot peasants on their kneels, and often in tears and carrying children, crawl humbly down the aisle to honor Mary and seek her help. Mary was here.|We fall silent.|And we all have our local holy places.  In the center of our university  campus on the crest of a gentile hill we have a charming brick piazza surrounding a splashing fountain  fronting the façade of our lovely campus church.  Students, faculty, staff process by all day. Regularly in the evenings, with lights illuminating the church, I find myself  on a bench behind  the piazza-fountain recalling God's presence in the midst of my day.  And I pray that our church may be for our university community a true axis between heaven and earth --  reminding us of where we have come from and where we are going!|"Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord!"|We need holy places!
University Ministry, Creighton University.
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