True Dwelling Places

True Dwelling Places

BY CLARISSA ALIJENTERA | December 25, 2023
Sunday’s Readings

A dwelling place and even the idea of dwelling arise in this set of readings on this last Sunday of Advent. We see the story of the Annunciation and begin to understand the need to have and create a divine dwelling place for our Savior. Yet, dwelling in the context where I live means that many in my city of Chicago need a dwelling place. They are among the many refugees who have been bused to Chicago since August 2022, and they need safe and secure places to live. Recent news reports in Chicago shared that a 5-year-old boy died while he was living in a temporary shelter. The shelter was said to have harsh living conditions, with freezing bathrooms and an unsanitary environment. The juxtaposition of creating a dwelling place for the divine and, simultaneously, one for migrant families in 2023 is vivid in my mind.

True Dwelling Places

Dwelling, perhaps, isn’t simply a place with a bed. A dwelling is a place of rest; in the understanding of the Old Testament, it is a place to remain or even inhabit. Imagine if all dwelling places we offered our brothers and sisters were places where all could not just survive but thrive. As we move on from this last Sunday of Advent and prepare our hearts and lives to receive “Mary’s Yes,” imagine what it would be like to help create a dwelling place for our migrant neighbors. What would that look like? What would that feel like?

4 replies
  1. Cathe
    Cathe says:

    Beautiful reflection – creating a dwelling place is creating a HOME, where you are welcome and loved, just for being you! Just as Mary and Joseph, needed shelter, they were surrounded by Angels, Shepherds, bright stars that lit the way! That is who we are called to be for all seeking shelter in our Country! We CAN be that, if we choose to be!

  2. Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight
    Dr. Eileen Quinn Knight says:

    Creating a dwelling place for our migrant refugees is an awesome responsibility and obligation to take care of God’s people. It is creating a sense of home within and without the person. It is a sense of others caring and offering their thought, words, matherial goods to the other. It is a sacred space where the person feels/undersstands the warm embrace of the Almighty God. by creating a dwelling place for another is to take seriously the goodness and devotion of the other to our God. It isa deep understanding of the needs of another and responding to those needs feverishly and without end. It is realizing the wonderful embrace of the Father, His Son and the Holy Spirit to all in need. It is the warmth of the love of each one of us with the other in need.

  3. sonja
    sonja says:

    Creating a dwelling place is welcoming the stranger into our home.
    Or adopting minors to give them a secure start in a new land.
    Now that I have no fixed abode I just share where there is free food or meals to be had.

  4. Dr.Cajetan Coelho
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    Migrants look forward to a dwelling where they can create togetherness and ongoingness on the way to our common destination.


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