_“Blessed are they who dwell in your house, forever singing your praise. Blessed is the man whose strength is in you. They walk with ever growing strength.”(Psalm 5a and 7a)_‬

_*Truly how lovely is the dwelling place of God. So many good things happen in the presence of God. The psalmist was right when he said that one day within God’s house is better than a thousand else where. As humans it is only natural that our hearts long for a place of peace, direction and reassurance. Beloved, that place is the lovely presence of God.*_

_The children of Israel knew that they could do so little without God’s presence. And so they refused to proceed on their journey unless the sign of God’s presence which was the cloud of his presence, did not rise to go with them. Beloved, if God’ s presence goes with you in any endeavour, be sure to succeed in it._

_*It is a wise thing to take advantage of the opportunity we have in God’s friendship. As Christians, we have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. One good thing about relationships is the opportunity to enjoy the presence of each other. Friends spend time in the company of one another. Such company creates the necessary bonding that helps to maximize the benefit of the friendship. There are several things you can do in the presence of God. You can praise him; you can bless and worship him; you can also lay before him your concerns. When you come into God’s presence, come believing that he rewards those who diligently seek him. Come with a heart full of faith and gratitude; come with a heart ready to lay all at the feet of Jesus; come with a heart full of expectation and most importantly come and enjoy the peace in the presence of God.*_

_The ultimate presence of God which we should aspire for is the kingdom of God that will come at the end of our lives. Jesus reminds us in the gospel that at the end of the age, there will be a judgment separating evil from good. Jesus does not tell us about the end to scare us but to encourage us that he expects us to be prepared. And this is why he continues to invite us to take advantage of the benefits of the presence of God to prepare for the end of the time._

_*Be rest assured that God’s presence is every where. God is so near to us. God dwells in us. And today will not be different. So wherever we find difficulty today, let us remember that we are not alone. Call on him believing that he will take care of everything.*_

_Good morning and peace to you oh child of God. Have a great and productive day. Enjoy the presence of God at work, at home and wherever you go. *And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.*_

*Meditation:* Exodus 40:16-21.34-38/Psalm 84:2.3.4-5a and 7a.10/Matthew 13:47-53

*Watch-Word:* How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of host!.

_*You are always in God’s presence. Take advantage of the blessings he wants to give you.*_

(Thursday of the seventeenth week in the ordinary time.)

*© Rev. Fr. Augustine Eleke*