Moses did everything just as the Lord had commanded him. In the first month in the second year, on the first day of the month, the tabernacle was set up. Moses set up the tabernacle; he laid its bases, and set up its frames, and put in its poles, and raised up its pillars; and he spread the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent over it; as the Lord had commanded Moses. He took the covenant and put it into the ark, and put the poles on the ark, and set the mercy seat above the ark;and he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the curtain for screening, and screened the ark of the covenant; as the Lord had commanded Moses.
Then the cloud covered the tent of meeting, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Moses was not able to enter the tent of meeting because the cloud settled upon it, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle. Whenever the cloud was taken up from the tabernacle, the Israelites would set out on each stage of their journey; but if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out until the day that it was taken up. For the cloud of the Lord was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in the cloud by night, before the eyes of all the house of Israel at each stage of their journey.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved. http://www.usccb.org/bible/approved-translations
Not all of Scripture is characterized by high drama. For every Transfiguration or walk across the water, there are strict Old Testament directives on how to organize crops or wear one’s hair. Even today’s reading, which presents the magnificent image of God as a fire in a cloud, offers a rather boring account of Moses constructing a Dwelling “exactly as the Lord had commanded him.” I often wonder why these passages are included in the Bible at all. What do the Ark of the Covenant’s dimensions have to do with my faith?
I think the answer rests in God’s involvement in every facet of our lives, even the minutiae. Yes, God is with us when we are joyfully celebrating with our friends and families or struggling with pain, sorrow, and hardship. But God is also there when we are drinking coffee, brushing our teeth, checking an app on our phones, and waiting in traffic. Realizing God is constantly with us and around us is at the heart of the Jesuit challenge to find God in all things. Like St. Ignatius, we are called to seek God in the good, the bad, and even the mundane.
—Brian Harper works in Chicago as a communications specialist for the Chicago-Detroit and Wisconsin Jesuit provinces.
Teach me to listen, Holy Spirit, for your voice—in busy-ness and in boredom, in certainty and doubt, in noise and in silence. Teach me, Lord, to listen.”
—John Veltri, SJ