AN IN-TENTS EXPERIENCE

“I am talking about those who are set upon the things of this world.” –Philippians 3:19

During their forty years in the desert, God accompanied the Israelites, dwelling in a tent called the Meeting Tent (see Ex 40:2). When it was time to journey on, the Lord rose in a cloud which hovered over the Meeting Tent. When the cloud moved, the people packed up the Meeting Tent and followed the cloud. When the cloud stopped, the people pitched the Meeting Tent, and God descended from the cloud to dwell in the Tent in the midst of the people (Ex 40:34-38).

God’s sacred presence on Mount Horeb (Sinai) prefigures His presence on Transfiguration Mountain (Ex 24:15; Lk 9:29, 35); so also does the cloud in the Meeting Tent prefigure the sacred presence of God at the Transfiguration (Ex 40:34ff; Lk 9:34). The Old Covenant, represented by Moses and Elijah (the law and the prophets), joins the New Covenant, that is, Jesus and the apostles. Though Peter wants to erect three tents, he did not need a tent to enter the Presence of God; he was already standing in the Presence of God inside the new transfigured Meeting Tent and cloud. Standing with their feet on the earth and their heads in God’s Presence, the apostles’ minds were no longer set upon the things of the world (see Phil 3:19).

At each Mass we attend, we are like the apostles on Transfiguration Mountain. Our feet stand on earth, but the Lord comes down from heaven in the Eucharist. At Mass, we are partly in heaven and partly on earth. Attend Mass daily, or as often as possible, and “be intent on things above rather than on things of earth” (Col 3:2).

PRAYER: Father, in this time of Lent, help me to focus on heavenly things rather than on things of earth (Col 3:1ff; Jn 3:1ff; Phil 3:19).

PROMISE: “We have our citizenship in heaven.” –Phil 3:20

PRAISE: Praise You, Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth!

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