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June 30th, 2012

Why is Mary called The Ark of The Covenant?

Mary The Ark of The Covenant

Though many titles have been bestowed on the Blessed Mother, the one title that evolves itself as we journey from the Old testament to the New testament is – The Ark of the Covenant.

The Israelites held The Ark of the Covenant in high esteem. So sacred was it considered that the Lord God set up a separate tribe to carry it. Duetronomy 10:8 – “At that time the LORD set apart the tribe of Levi to carry the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister to him and to bless in his name, to this day.”

Of the many verses which tell us about the Ark of God’s covenant let us focus on what St. Paul in his letter to the Hebrews says about the Ark of the Covenant and the contents inside it. This is what he says in Hebrews chapter 9 verse 4. “Having the golden altar of incense and the Ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant”.

To sum up therefore the Ark of the covenant of the old testament was house to the manna that the Israelites were fed with in their days of wandering in the desert apart from Aaron’s rod and the tables (the book of laws) of the covenant.

Why is Mary the Ark of New Covenant?

When we recite the litany of Our Lady we acknowledge the Mother as being the Ark of the Covenant. Why is this so? The manna, Aaron’s rod and the tables of the covenant all point to a single person and that is Our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is (a) the Bread of life that came down from heaven, (b) the High Priest who offered his holy blood for the atonement of the sins of humankind and (c) the fulfilment of all the laws. Therefore the Blessed Mother who carried Jesus in her womb is the Ark of God’s New Covenant with mankind, the covenant which is sealed with the blood of Christ.

Verses showing Mary as the Ark of Covenant

Some verses which support the claim that the Blessed Virgin Mother is indeed the Ark of the New Covenant are 2 Chronicles 6 :41 and Psalms 132:8 “And now arise, O LORD God, and go to thy resting place, thou and the Ark of thy might.” These verses clearly indicate how Jesus the Son of God and the Son of Mary would honour his mother – the Ark. He intended to honour her by taking her to heaven in much the same way as he himself went. Another verse that supports this claim is the Revelation given to St. John the Apostle whom the Mother adopted as her son at the foot of the Cross.

Revelations 11:19 “Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the Ark of his covenant was seen within his temple; and there were flashes of lightning, voices, peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.” Since the Ark of the Covenant was a sign and a very important one at that, Revelations 12:1 “ And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars, refers to the Ark of the Covenant and the 12 tribes of Israel.

Joshua 4: 9 reveals an incident which when read along with verses from the Acts shows us the connection between the Mother and the Ark of the Covenant “ And Joshua set up twelve stones in the midst of the Jordan, in the place where the feet of the priests bearing the Ark of the covenant had stood.” Acts 1: 13-14 “And when they had entered, they went up to the upper room, where they were staying, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James.

All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus. Acts 2:1 “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place”.Now we all know that when Jesus was baptized in the Jordan the Father let the Holy Spirit descend on him.Therefore the Jordan in the verse above symbolizes the presence of the Holy Spirit and when does the Holy Spirit descend? when the twelve priests and the Ark of the covenant are together. i.e. when the twelve apostles and the Blessed Mother are together.

Read Mary’s Faith: A Model For The Church

The Bible shows us two distinct sets of people and their experiences concerning the Ark of the Covenant . 1 Samuel 3:3-4:- The lamp of God had not yet gone and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord, where the Ark of God was . 4. Then the Lord called, “Samuel! Samuel!” 2 Samuel 6:12 It was told King David, “The Lord has blessed the household of O’bed’dom and all that belongs to him because of the Ark of God.”

The above passages from the old testament testify the fact that God blessed all those who were in close proximity to the Ark of the Covenant and revered it. When we meditate on the glorious mysteries of the Rosary we meditate on the Pentecost. The message conveyed by the Pentecost is very simple – all those who maintain close proximity with the Blessed Mother and revere her will be blessed.

Punishment for disrespecting The Ark of Covenant

Now let us examine what happened to those who dealt disrespectfully with the Ark of God. 1 Samuel 5:1-2,6. When the Philistines captured the Ark of God, they brought it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then the Philistines took the Ark of God and brought it into the house of Dagon and set it up beside Dagon. The hand of the Lord was heavy upon the people of Ashdod and he terrified and struck them with tumors, both in Ashdod and in its territory.

Here Dagon the God of the Philistines symbolizes Satan. If God were to deal so severely with people who dared to capture and place his Ark (made of earthly materials) alongside the unholy Dagon and thereby insult it, how much more severely would he deal with those who dare to insult the Blessed Mother (The Ark of the New Covenant) made by him in his own image and likeness and chosen to be a part of the divine plan of redemption.

1 Samuel 5:4 makes interesting reading “But when they rose early on the next morning, Dagon had fallen on his face to the ground before the Ark of the Lord and the head of Dagon and both his hands were lying cut off upon the threshold; only the trunk of Dagon was left to him.If Satan is not able to stand his ground against the Ark of the Old Covenant how much more will his feet not stagger in the presence of the Ark of the New Covenant.

The Blessed Virgin Mother has been given to us as a powerful advocate against Satan. She is someone before whom the power and weapons of Satan pale. Let us seek her assistance sincerely in our fight against the enemy, for she has been given to us as help and protection against the forces of evil.

– – – written by Lajan Miranda

June 30th, 2012

Are We Building Another Tower Of Babel?

Building Another Tower Of Babel

Recently, the author Jared Diamond proposed that we the humans are the “third chimpanzee” in his book “The third chimpanzee-the evolution and future of the human animal”. We live in a world of moral relativism. Man has advanced much scientifically and has harnessed some of the powers of nature. He is now exalting. He is building his tower of Babel. It brings added confusion to an already confused world.

Chimpanzee and Human

The intellectuals of the twenty-first century have found that the genetic distance between a chimpanzee and human is only two percent. In other words man and ape is ninety-eight percent identical in genetic make up. They are explaining the vast difference between ape and man by the phenomenon of evolution over millions of years. Erect body position, language and dexterity in fine skilled motor movements are the only explanations given for the vast progress of the “human ape”. Agriculture and complex social interactions are mentioned as the reason for human progress.

Of course they have an explanation for evil, though they do not believe in evil. The negative forces in human progress are apparently warfare and environmental pollution. They tell that God is a human invention stemming from the human awareness of mortality. Animals are not aware of their death but humans are aware of their mortality. Apparently, the fear of death led the cave man to invent the concept of after-life. They say that man created God out of the fear of mortality.

Man has got everything right. Man exalts himself as God. He says he evolved by himself from a mere organic soup to a complex human being. This philosophy attributes biology in itself as a self-procreating, self-adapting, self-knowing, self-correcting and self-evolving system that does not need a creator to exist. They attribute creation, sustenance and adaptation of biological organisms independent of any creator. In simple terms, biological organism including man is capable of creating himself from scratch without God. Basically, they are telling that we are gods. Only God can create, sustain and maintain life without any external force. Biologists are telling that we can sustain, and we came into being without external power. We are declaring ourselves, monkeys, reptiles and living creatures as gods. We are attributing divinity to the creature and are taking the glory of God. Satan did the same thing. He wanted to be God.

The Third Chimpanzee

The theology proposed by the proponents of the third chimpanzee is an old one. It is as old as the fallen angels! It glorifies itself and attributes divinity to itself. Man is an intelligent creature and our brain knows no limits in perverting the truth of God. The pseudo intellectuals are providing the philosophy of fallen angels under the cover of intellectual arguments and biological theories. Essentially, this is an old strategy of the enemy presented to us in a new and colorful gift wrap. Methods are the same. Error is the same. Simply, the error is animism.

When glory is taken away from the creator, we will worship the creature. We worship monkeys and reptiles as our fathers, when we fall prey to this ideal. I have studied biology all my life and I haven’t stopped marveling at the complex design of created things. It reminds me what the Lord said – They see and hear but do not understand. The prince of this world has made them blind to the wisdom of God. They, by their free will have opted to deafen their ears and blind their eyes to the God of Golgotha.

– – – written by Dr. Jacob C Tony

June 29th, 2012

The Road To Emmaus is The Road To Catholicism

The road to Emmaus

Disciples on the Road to Emmaus

The gospel of Luke illustrates the incident that occurred to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus. Two disciples were walking to Emmaus, discussing about the passion of Christ and their shattered hopes of a Messianic kingdom. Jesus joined them on the way to Emmaus but the disciples did not recognize him. Jesus explained the Old Testament prophecies about the suffering Messiah to the two disciples.

Eventually all the three reached Emmaus in the evening. As Jesus was about to leave them, they told him to stay with them in Emmaus. In the evening at dinner time, Jesus took bread in his sacred hands, blessed the bread and broke it for them and gave it to them. At the breaking of the bread their eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus.

The Road to Catholicism

The road to Catholicism is the road to Emmaus. Jesus explained the whole scripture to the disciples but they failed to identify Jesus. Jesus walked with them but they still failed to recognize him. Their eyes were closed even though they heard the word of God and its interpretation from Jesus himself. Jesus walked with them but they were still foolish and ignorant about the person of Jesus.

Jesus was teaching a great message at Emmaus. Nothing will ever substitute the body and blood of Christ, not even the word of God or even the presence of God. Holy Eucharist is the center of worship. Jesus instituted the Eucharist. He said’ “This is my body and blood. Eat it in memory of me”. He did not say that the bread is symbolic of his body and wine is symbolic of his blood. People preach the word of God and explain the meaning of the word of God but will fail to understand the person of Jesus, if they do not eat his body and drink his blood.

Mass is the celebration of the sacrifice of Jesus.

God the father accepts the sacrifice of his Son for the atonement of our sins. Sacrifice is a concept seen in every culture. Aryans, Aztecs, Canaanites and every primitive tribes offered animal sacrifice. Jewish scriptures say that life is in the blood. Noah, Abraham and other patriarchs offered sacrifices. Solomon killed thousands of Sheep and oxen at the dedication of the temple. Jews offered evening and morning animal sacrifices. All great Jewish festivals were celebrated with animal sacrifice. Animal sacrifices were the symbols of the great sacrifice to follow-the sacrifice of the Lamb of God at Calvary.

Isaac asked, “Where is the sacrificial animal?” Abraham replied, “God himself will provide the lamb”. God himself provided the lamb for eternal sacrifice. The great prophet of the Old Testament confirmed this. As Jesus was walking towards river Jordan, John the Baptist cried out, “Behold the lamb of God”.

Jesus is the eternal priest and the sacrificial lamb at the same time. In the Old Testament, the High priest entered the Holy of Holies once a year. The Holy of holies was behind the veil. When Jesus died the veil of the temple ripped open and Jesus entered the Holy of Holies for ever. He is seated at the right hand of the father, mediating for us.

As God is beyond the confines of time, the sacrifice of Calvary is present before him all the time. Mass is the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus. Nothing will substitute the sacrifice of Jesus. We have to eat the body of the sacrificial lamb. When Jesus gave the bread, he was offering his body to the disciples in Emmaus. Word of God, anointed music, prophesies, and tongues do not replace the Mass instituted by Jesus himself.

Holy Mass Quotes

Prayer of those who cannot go to Holy Mass

– – – written by Tony Chacko

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