Mary, the new Ark of the Covenant

We celebrate the Solemnity of Mary the Mother of God throughout the Latin rite today, at least in the Ordinary form of the liturgy.  In honor of Mary, the Θεοτόκος, the “theotokos” or “God bearer”, I’d like to present a short audio clip of Catholic evangelist Steve Ray discussing the idea of Mary as the “new Ark of the Covenant”.

In this clip, Steve provides several astounding parallels between 2 Samuel 6:2-11 and Luke 1:39-44, and shows that the inspired Gospel writer considered the Ark of the Covenant of the Old Testament to be a “type” or prefiguring of our Blessed Mother.

The Ark of the Covenant, as you may remember, was that precious box hauled around by the Israelites, covered in gold, never to be profaned, and containing the stone tablets of the commandments, the manna, and the rod of Aaron.

And here is a chart from Steve Ray’s own website that summarizes some of the scriptural parallels (click to enlarge):

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Another good written summary of the things that Steve is discussing may be found at Dr. Scott Hahn’s St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, here.

Holy Mary, Ark of the Covenant, pray for us.

 

The Oak Tree

There’s a great temptation to think that the goal of any and all true renewal in the Church should be to return to the exact life and practice of the early Church.   Even movements within the Catholic Church have fallen into this particular trap, which goes by the names of “Restorationism” and “Christian Primitivism.”

I invite you to spend 2 minutes listening to Catholic evangelist Steve Ray share a startling insight he had about this as he began to look seriously at the Catholic Church while he was still a Baptist. This is an excerpt of a talk that Steve gave at the Agana Cathedral Basilica in Guam in 2006.

Transcript

“And for a scary moment I took my Baptist glasses off and stared into the horizon and guess what I saw?

This beautiful oak tree standing in the field. This beautiful oak tree, the Catholic Church, which was standing there and I had never seen it before. It had been covered with fog, the fog of lies, the fog of misrepresentation and caricatures.

And I looked out and I saw that beautiful tree, at one time it had only been an acorn. And that acorn had been planted in the ground by Jesus. He said that when the seed is planted it will die, but unless it dies, it cannot bear fruits. And Jesus was buried in the ground, he said like wheat. And when the seed died, then came forth fruit.

It’s like the oak tree growing, and two thousand years later this oak tree is beautiful. And it’s huge. And it covers the whole world and it’s big enough for all the birds of the world to build their nests in.

But I said that the oak tree doesn’t look like the acorn. It doesn’t look what the apostles started. That was just a little tree. But God never intended the acorn and the little tree to stay a little tree! You don’t plant a tree to only grow this tall!

When you plant an acorn you want it to grow into a beautiful tree, and that what the Church did and of course it’s going to look different today then it did in the first century. I would expect it would. When I look at my baby pictures, I look very different now than I did when I was a baby. I have about the same amount of hair! <<laughter>> But other things look different.

So I saw for the first time this beautiful oak tree, and my wife and I started to look at it and ask questions about it.”

Are married priests on the way?

From:

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By: Sandro Magister

ROME, September 21, 2016 – Pope Francis received in audience a few days ago the Brazilian cardinal Cláudio Hummes, accompanied by the archbishop of Natal, Jaime Vieira Rocha.

Hummes, 82, former archbishop of São Paulo and prefect of the Vatican congregation for the clergy, is today the president both of the commission for the Amazon of the episcopal conference of Brazil and of the Pan-Amazonian Network that joins together 25 cardinals and bishops of the surrounding countryside, in addition to indigenous representatives of different local ethnicities.

And in this capacity he [Hummes] supports, among others, the proposal to make up for the scarcity of celibate priests in immense areas like the Amazon by also conferring sacred ordination upon “viri probati,” meaning married men of proven virtue.

The news of the audience therefore gave the idea that Pope Francis had discussed this very question with Hummes, and in particular an “ad hoc” synod of the 38 dioceses of the Amazon, which is effectively in an advanced phase of preparation.

Not only that. There is renewed vigor behind the rumor that Jorge Mario Bergoglio wants to assign to the next worldwide synod of bishops, scheduled for 2018, precisely the question of ordained ministers, bishops, priests, deacons, including the ordination of married men.  Read more.