Saturday, May 13, 2006

Berean study of the Scriptures

The Bereans searched the OLD TESTAMENT for the truth that JESUS was the Savior of the World, as that was what was considered "the Scriptures" of that time (cf. Acts 17:10ff). What chapter and verse explicitly shows that JESUS is the Savior of the World?? It seems the Bereans used OT typology to discover the TRUTH. That's how the Bereans read the Bible and came to believe a BIBLICAL truth.

Likewise, Catholics read the OT like the Bereans. We see the Christian truth about Mary hidden within the OT. We see more in the Bible than just "Jesus is the Son of Mary." To see only that is certainly not reading Scripture as the Bereans did.

From the earliest centuries, Christians saw the OT Ark as a type of Mary. The connection is clear. That Ark carried the written Word of God; Mary carried the living Word. Mary is the living Ark of the living Word. The Ark helps us to see the biblical basis for doctrines like the Immaculate Conception and Assumption, which are not taught explicitly in Sacred Scripture, but which are taught implicitly through OT "Berean" typology. Mary, like the OT Ark was made pure [Immaculate Conception], stayed pure [Perpetual Virginity], and kept from corruption [bodily Assumption into heaven].

It is also significant that in Revelation, after seeing a vision of the OT Ark, St. John immediately sees a vision of a woman (Mary), thereby further connecting the OT Ark to the NT Ark--Mary.
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. 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...she brought forth a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron (Rev 11:19-12:1,5)
Moreover, God's chosen people in the OT used the Ark of the Covenant as a guide in their journey into the promised land (Num 10:33; Josh 3:3,6,11,14). Moses and his people also used the OT Ark of the Covenant in their battle against adversity (Josh 3:13-17) and against their enemies (Joshua 6). Likewise, you may find Catholics who place Mary (the new Ark) in a prominent place in their faith journey, turning to her frequently in their fight against evil. In the OT, the actions of Moses and God's people did not prove they worshipped the Ark. Any effects the Ark had in guiding them and battling adversity came only from God. The same is true for Catholics who turn to Mary for her intercession.

Berean Catholics have come to understand, through searching the Scripture, that there's something more to Mary than simply being the Mother of Jesus. She is the living Ark of the living Covenant, and just like Moses and his people in Sacred Scripture, Catholics have made a prominent place for the Ark of the Covenant to help guide us in our faith journey, in our battle against adversity. We don't worship the Ark any more than the people of Isreal worshiped the Ark. But we have a Berean understanding of the power of God which is truly manifest within His Holy Ark, in accord with His Holy Will. It's just as Scriptural as the Good News was to the Bereans who, after being taught by St. Paul, found hidden in the OT the teaching about Jesus.

God bless,