November 10, 2009

Mary is the Ark of the New Covenant (Continued)

As we discussed here the original Ark of the Covenant was a golden vessel containing the Ten Commandments, the sign of God's covenant with the nation of Israel. In a similar fashion, the Virgin Mary who bore Jesus in her very womb, is the Ark of the New Covenant that is Christ Himself.

Both Mary and the Ark of the Covenant were "overshadowed" by a cloud representing the Glory of the Lord. This happened to Mary at the Annunciation. The Ark of the Covenant was overshadowed by the Glory of the Lord on several occasions. During its installation in the Tabernacle and the Temple the Ark was overshadowed just as Mary was.

When the gospel writer Luke writes about Mary visiting her cousin Elisabeth (who is pregnant with John the Baptist) he uses suggestive language to point out Mary as the new Ark of the Covenant. Luke reminds us of when King David brought the Ark to Jerusalem. The parallels are unmistakable:

"David arose and went" to bring up the Ark (2 Sm 6:2) just as "Mary arose and went" to visit Elisabeth (Luke 1:39). David said, "How can the ark of the Lord come to me? (2 Sm 6:9) just as Elizabeth proclaimed "And why is this granted me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me. (Luke 1:43). David was "leaping and dancing before the Lord." (2 Sm 6:16) just as the baby in Elisabeth's womb leapt for joy when the Mother of Christ appeared. (Luke 1:44)Finally, there is this parallel: "And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obeddedom the Gittite for three months." (2 Sm 6:11) is compared to "And Mary remained with her (Elizabeth) for about three months." (Luke 1:56)

1 comment :

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. We are doing a women's study group for Mary, Mother of God. You answered my questions.