During mass on a recent Sunday, my baby daughter was getting restless during the homily so I brought her out into the gathering area of the church to settle her. We are blessed that there is a glass wall between the gathering area and the church and a sound system in this area so I could still see and hear what was happening inside the church. After a few minutes, the homily ended, the creed and the prayers of the faithful passed, and the offertory hymn started. The offertory hymn on this particular Sunday happened to be Our God is Here.
The song invites us to recognize God's presence here in this time, here in this place. The song suggests God is present here in our hearts, here in our lives, here in the Word, and here in this Eucharistic feast. The song grabbed my attention as I paced with my daughter, slightly bouncing and slightly rocking her to keep her calm. Our God is indeed present among the community gathered in the mass and I took a moment to notice that presence as I looked around the church.
Then I looked down at my daughter and in that moment I was overcome with a recognition of God's presence in my daughter. I passed by the bowl of water people use to sign themselves as they enter the church as a reminder of their baptism and I thought of my daughter's baptism that was only a handful of months earlier. God is indeed present in my daughter. He is present in her tiny, perfect fingers. He is present in her gentle breathing which I feel as she rests against my chest. He is present in her joy filled smile and excited giggles. He is present in the tears that occasionally roll down her cheeks. He is present in that sparkle in her eye that shines bright as she looks into my eyes and I look into hers. God is present in my heart as it fills with love for this precious daughter God has given to me.
God is present in the parish church as the song suggests. God is present in my domestic church and present in it's littlest member. As I was absorbed in the presence of God there with my daughter, I joined the choir in singing the refrain of the song and I sang it with all my heart. What better response can there be when we recognize God's presence than praise and worship? I looked at my beautiful daughter, I allowed her to wrap her tiny fingers around my finger, and I sang:
"Holy! Holy! Holy are you!" We cry: "Holy! Holy! Holy and true!" Amen, we do believe our God is here. Our God is here!