August 22nd 2021

The letter to the Hebrews described the contents of the Ark of the Covenant: “Behind the second veil was the tabernacle called the Holy of Holies, in which were the gold altar of incense and the ark of the covenant entirely covered with gold. In it were the gold jar containing the manna, the staff of Aaron that had sprouted, and the tablets of the covenant. (Heb 9:3-4; cf. Num 17:20-23) Taken together, the contents of the ark are signs that point to the Messiah. Jesus is the bread of life, the true bread that came down from heaven, the food that gives eternal life. (cf. Jn 6:51) Jesus is a king unlike any worldly king, and like a new bud or a sprout, He renewed human life from what appeared on His Cross to be humanity dead in its sins. (cf. Is 4:2; 11:1; 53:2; Jer 23:5–6; 33:14–16; Zec 3:8; 6:12; Rev 22:16). Jesus saved us by fulfilling the law in our human flesh. He offered Himself to obtain for us the divine grace and blessing He preached in the Beatitudes in His Sermon on the Mount. (cf. Mt 5:3-12) His mother is also our mother. The Virgin Mary cooperated in God’s plan to save us by her “yes” to conceive and bear Christ into the world. She was created without original sin and served as a pure tabernacle carrying within her womb, he who was infinity dwindled to infancy. She gave God her mortal flesh so that God could give us His immortal Divinity. She gave God her life so that God could enter into our death and free us from it. “No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life.” For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” (Jn 3:13-17) No one has ascended except the one who descended, the Son of Man. Through Mary, the Son of God came down into the world and became the Son of Man. Jesus is the way we ascend into heaven. We do this through His Cross. Like Jesus, because we are His Body through the Eucharist, we too must be lifted up through our faith and trust in Him. The Virgin Mary was the first human being to be lifted up. She stood by His Cross in union with Him through His suffering, and eventually, she passed through death into eternal life.

I keep the LORD always before me;
with him at my right hand, I shall never be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, my soul rejoices;
my body also dwells secure,
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
nor let your devout one see the pit.
You will show me the path to life,
abounding joy in your presence,
the delights at your right hand forever. (Ps 16:8-11)

The Virgin Mary is known as the first Apostle. She was the first to see, hear and believe, and she brought Jesus to us so that we could lead others to Jesus. The Virgin Mary was with the other apostles when Jesus sent down His Spirit nine days after he had ascended into heaven. She always does God’s will, and she intercedes for us with her Son.

“Arise, my friend, my beautiful one,
and come!
For see, the winter is past,
the rains are over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth,
the time of pruning the vines has come,
and the song of the turtledove is heard in our land.
The fig tree puts forth its figs,
and the vines, in bloom, give forth fragrance.
Arise, my friend, my beautiful one,
and come!
My dove in the clefts of the rock,
in the secret recesses of the cliff,
Let me see your face,
let me hear your voice,
For your voice is sweet,
and your face is lovely.” (Sg 2:10-14)

If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself. (2 Tim 2:11-13) Christ will not deny members of His own Body. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.” (Lk 11:28)

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