Life & Liberty




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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December 13, 2011: Knights of Columbus Bible Study - Mary The great sign

A spiritual journey with Fr. Moreno

Opening Prayer:  The Canticle of Mary

 Gospel of St. Luke 1:46-55

Theme:  “A great sign appears in the sky…”  Rev 11:19

Rev. 11: 19      “Then God’s temple in heaven opened,”

                        “…and the Ark of His covenant could be seen in the temple”

“There were flashes of lighting, rumblings, and peals of thunder, and earthquake, and a violent hailstorm.”

Rev. 12: “A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.”

1.      “Then God’s temple in heaven opened,”

-The temple opened is a manifestation of Our Lord.  It is an Epiphany of the Lord, a vision of God.  In the Book of Revelation St. John's vision revels that Jesus is the temple of God and that he is the Son of God.

-Jesus is the mystery of the Incarnation, a central Christian doctrine that God became flesh, assumed a human nature, and became man in the form of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the second person of the Trinity – the” hypostatic union” = the divine nature of the Son of God was perfectly united with the human nature in the person of Jesus, making him both truly God and truly man.

Revelation 8- 11 describes the destruction of the earth city, which causes God’s temple in heaven to open. In other words out with the old and in with the new.  Yet, as glorious as the New Jerusalem is, some still cling to the earthly city and reject Christ's Kingdom.

Lesson:  You can’t go to heaven without dying. This is true in the physical sense of death, but even more so in the sense of dying to oneself.  We must constantly detach ourselves from worldliness and set our sights on heavenly realities.

2.      “And the Ark of His covenant could be seen in the temple”

Old Testament: 

a.       During the Exodus, God’s presence appeared over the ark in the tabernacle, making it holy (Ex. 40:34-38)

b.      The Ark was also holy because it contained God’s Word. That is, the Ten Commandments, written on the stone tables.  Two, bread from heaven, that is, the manna and Third, the staff of Aaron, the high Priest.

c.       Nothing ritually unclean could touch the Ark (2Sam. 6:6-7)

d.      It was the “Ark” that led Israel through the desert on the way to the Promised Land (Num.10:33-35)

e.       The Ark was lost during the Babylonian era

In The Book of Revelation St. John sees God’s temple and the Ark of His covenant.  This scripture passage reminds us of two very important events in Mary’s life; The Annunciation of the angel Gabriel to Mary and Mary’s Visitation to her cousin Elizabeth.  Both accounts evoke Ark of the Covenant imagery.

1.      The Annunciation Mary is told, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you.” (Luke. 1:35).  The Greek word for “overshadow” is the same word to describe God’s presence “overshadowing” the Ark in the tabernacle (Ex. 40:34-38).

2.      Mary is also compared to the Ark in the story of the Visitation.  St. Luke describes Mary’s visit to Elizabeth in ways that echo the story of David carrying the Ark to Jerusalem.

St Luke 1

“Mary arose and went with haste into the hill county, to a city of Judea (v.39)

“Elizabeth exclaimed with a loud cry, blessed are you among women.” (v. 42)

Mother of my Lord should come to me?

 (v. 43).

“For behold…the babe in my womb leaped for joy” (v. 44)

“And Mary remained with her about three month.” (v. 56)


2 Samuel 6

“And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from Balojudah” (v. 2)

“David blessed the people in the name of the Lord” (v.18)

“David said, how can the Ark of the Lord come to me?” (v. 9)

“Michal…looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord.” (v. 16)

“And the Ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededon the Hittite three months.”

Mary then, is the new ark, because she bears within herself Jesus who is God’s Word in the flesh, the true Bread from heaven, and is the heavenly High Priest.

Scott Hann in his book "Hail, Holy Queen: the Mother of God in the Word of God" states:

“Whatever made the ark holy made Mary even holier.  If the first Ark contained the Word of God in stone, Mary’s body contained the Word of God enfleshed.  If the first Ark contained miraculous bread from heaven, Mary’s body contained the very bread of Life that conquers death forever.  If the first Ark contained the rode of the long-ago ancestral priest, Mary’s body contained the divine person of the eternal priest, Jesus Christ.”