I will enter God’s marvelous dwelling place

Bishop and Great Western Father of the Church

An excerpt from his Sermon on Psalm 41 addressed to the Newly Baptized

Thursday of the Thirteenth Week in Ordinary Time

As the deer longs for running water, so my soul longs for you, my God. Just as the deer longs for running water, so do our newly baptized members, our young deer, so to speak, also yearn for God. By leaving Egypt and the world, they have put Pharaoh and his entire army to death in the waters of baptism. After slaying the devil, their hearts long for the springs of running water in the Church. These springs are the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Jeremiah testifies that the Father is like a fountain when he says: They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water, to dig for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that can hold no water. In another passage we read about the Son: They have forsaken the fountain of wisdom. And again, John says of the Holy Spirit: Whoever drinks the water I will give him, that water shall become in him a fountain of water, springing up into eternal life. The evangelist explains that the Savior said this of the Holy Spirit. The testimony of these texts establishes beyond doubt the three fountains of the Church constitute the mystery of the Trinity.

These are the waters that the heart of the believer longs for, these are the waters that the heart of the newly baptized yearns for when he says: My heart thirsts for God, the living fountain. This is not a weak, faint desire to see God; rather the newly baptized actually burn with desire and thirst for God. Before they received baptism, they used to ask one another: When shall I go and see the face of God? Now their quest has been answered. they have come forward and they stand in the presence of God. They have come before the altar and have looked upon the mystery of the Savior.

Having received the body of Christ, and being reborn in the life-giving waters, they speak up boldly and say: I shall go into God’s marvelous dwelling place, his house. The house of God is the Church, his marvelous dwelling place, filled with joyful voices giving thanks, and praise, filled with all the sounds of festive celebration.

This is the way you should speak, you newly baptized, for you have now put on Christ. Under our guidance, by the word of God you have been lifted out of the dangerous waters of this world like so many little fish. In us the nature of things has been changed. Fish taken out of the sea die; but the apostles have fished for us and have taken us out of the sea of this world so we could be brought from death to life. As long as we were in the world, our eyes looked down into the abyss and we lived in filth. After we were rescued from the waves, we began to look upon the sun and look up at the true light. Confused in the presence of so much joy, we say: Hope in God, for I shall again praise him, in the presence of my savior and my God.

Glory to the Father
and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen