Some of us have never been to the Holy Land and stood on the site of the magnificent temple built by Solomon. Some of us may have never been to Lourdes where the healing power of God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary is more than evident. And not one of us has been to heaven. But we can and we should have the same realization as did one of my favourite American poets Emily Dickinson, who led a very sheltered life. And yet, in one of her simple but beautiful poems she wrote these words:
I never saw the moor.
I never saw the sea;
Yet know I how the heather looks,
And what a wave must be.
I never spoke with God,
Nor visited in heaven
Yet certain am I of the spot
As if the map were given.
The point is that God is all around us. Solomon realised that the Temple in Jerusalem couldn’t contain God nor limit him to one place. God is everywhere in the work of his creation. In the Gospel Our Lord declares all things clean, for all things come from God and bear his creative presence. Therefore all created things are sacred. Even simple bread and ordinary wine are not unworthy to be signs of divinity, nor are they unfit to make present the great saving act of the death and resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God is present not only in his people but in all his creation.
Even when we leave this chapel after Mass, we will walk on sacred ground, we will breathe holy air, and we will touch and use hallowed things. God is in no way limited, and nor should we limit our vision of him. As we prepare ourselves to begin the Season of Lent let us open our eyes to see the goodness and the love of God all around us.