“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church… must take up.” Karol Cardinal Wotyla (Sept. 1976)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Blessed Mother: The Ark of the New Covenant

Today is the Feast Day of St. John the Baptist.

My favorite story involving this saint happened when the Blessed Mother traveled to visit her expecting cousin, Elisabeth. Elisabeth's child, John the Baptist, leaped in uetero upon being in the presence of the Christ child in Mary’s womb.

Many biblical scholars tie this story to King David’s experience with being exposed to the Ark of the Covenant in the Old Testament. For example, here are some passages from 2 Samuel 6:

A) 6:9 says, "And David was afraid of the LORD that day, and said, How shall the ark of the LORD come to me?"
B) 6:16 states, "And as the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal Saul's daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the LORD;"
C) 6:11 adds, "And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months:"

Now lets parallel St. Luke’s account of Mary visiting Elisabeth with the accounts of 2 Samuel:

A) 1:43 Elisabeth says. "And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me?"
B) 1:41 "And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb."
C) 1:56 "And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house."

What St. Luke is saying is that just as the Ark of the Covenant served as the holding place of God’s initial promise (The 10 Commandments) with the Israelites in the Old Testament, the Virgin Mother served as the Ark (meaning shelter or refuge) of the New Covenant holding God’s fulfillment of His new and everlasting Covenant within her.

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