It’s the feast of Our Lady’s birthday today. We are so blessed that Jesus gave us His mother to be our mother too.
I was listening to Catholic Answers (archive 27th August 2012 Dr. Tim Gray). He was explaining some things about the two Temples.
You probably remember that the first Tabernacle of the Lord was the tent structure Moses put up under the instruction of God. It was movable as Israel travelled through the desert. At the heart of the Tabernacle was the Ark of the Covenant with it’s two great angels bowing over the Mercy Seat. Inside it’s gold lined interior sat the stone tablets of the Law, some manna (the bread from heaven) and the rod of Aaron’s priesthood.
Once Israel was settled in the Promised Land God asked that Solomon the son of David build Him the first Temple. It was a huge and magnificent building in the city of Jerusalem. We often see that Jerusalem was a symbolic “bride” as Israel was the bride of Adonai (Beloved husband).
Israel’s sin divorced her from God as Israel broke their side of the Covenant. God in His mercy sent prophets to warn the people and the prophets were killed. So the inevitable consequences occured and Israel was taken from the Promised Land.
At last the tribes of Judah and Benjiman returned and the Second Temple was built. It was not as grand as the first but it allowed the people to serve God faithfully.
Then there is the tradition that Jeremiah hid the Ark of the Covenant in the mountains somewhere.
Finally in about the year 18 BC Herod began the enormous building project of the new Temple in Jerusalem. It was so huge that all the pilgrims from the diaspora could stand within it’s walls. There was even a court for the gentiles (although it was misused and Jesus had to clear out the market that had been set up there).
Jesus calls Himself the temple when He says “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.”
The new Ark is His mother. She held Him, the Bread of Heaven, the High Priest of the new Covenant within her womb and within her arms. She is the sign that women are part of the New Covenant. Girl babies are baptised as well as boy babies. Paul says baptism has replaced circumcision which had only been for 8 day old boys or boys and men who converted later.
Jesus is the king, son of David of the New Israel and the new Gebirah (queen mother) of Israel is Mary.
All are welcome now, Jew and gentile, rich or poor and no matter how sick, disabled or developed, we are all children of Mary. We don’t have to pass an exam to be children of the new Covenant. We just have to accept the Sacraments that are offered us. Thank God for that.