A Place for God to Dwell
St. Paul Miki and Companions
1 Kings 8:22-23, 27-30
We humans spend a lot of time and money building places where we can encounter God or the divine in particular ways: churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, shrines, etc. Yet the most important place for God to dwell is the one closest to us: our own hearts. Solomon and the people of Israel opened the temple in Jerusalem with great fanfare and countless sacrifices, yet it was destroyed a few centuries later. After the martyrdom of St. Paul Miki and his companions, Japan was closed to the outside world for over 265 years, but the Catholic faith was kept alive by an underground movement of lay people and a single sacrament: Baptism.
Solomon marveled at how God, who could not be contained “in the heavens and the highest heavens,” much less a temple, would choose also to dwell on earth. More marvelous still is the way that God dwells with us: in the mystery of the Incarnation, in the power of the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and in human hearts even under the worst forms of persecution and repression. —JC