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Ark of the Covenant

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Deep in biblical history lies the roots of the Virgin Mary’s venerable title “Ark of the Covenant.” When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, God directed him to have the Hebrew people build a holy tabernacle so that He may reside among them. Inside this portable sanctuary stood the most sacred furnishing - the Ark of the Covenant.  

This golden chest of acacia wood contained three holy objects: manna from heaven, Aaron’s staff that budded before Pharaoh as a sign, and the stone tablets engraved with the Ten Commandments. The Bible records how God’s presence uniquely inhabited this Ark between the golden cherubim figures atop its mercy seat. From here God dispensed guidance, prophecies, and occasionally fearsome power against profaners of the holy relic.

When settled in the Promised Land, the relic was housed in temples built to specially enshrine the Ark in Jerusalem. So sacred was this chest that improperly touching or even gazing upon it risked instant death. Only High Priests could access the Ark just once annually on the Day of Atonement. 

Yet with time, the Ark vanished from history after Jerusalem’s sacking around 600 B.C.  


Centuries later arose another sacred vessel of God’s dwelling, one unexpected - the womb of a lowly Jewish virgin named Mary who was betrothed to a carpenter. By the Holy Spirit, her immaculate womb miraculously carried the uncontainable Creator.  


Recognizing this living tabernacle in their midst, early Jewish Christians understood Mary as the new holy Ark of the New Covenant. Contained again in her sacred body and blood was the divine manna from heaven - Christ, the Bread of Life to feed all humanity just as the first Ark physically sustained wandering Israelites in the wilderness with heavenly manna. 

In Mary’s maternal womb then came the budding of new life just as the long barren priestly staff miraculously blossomed signaling God’s chosen Aaronic priesthood. So too miraculously bloomed God’s new priestly order through the fertile Virgin, who through her divine motherhood now shared in Christ's eternal priesthood.

And lastly enclosed again in Mary is the Living Word of Truth and Law, the Logos, the incarnate Sacramental Word now written not upon tablets of stone like Moses, but in the fleshy living tablets of Jesus Christ's Sacred Heart beating.


Early Christians saw Mary as not only a new Ark but the supreme Ark of the absolute definitive Covenant between God and humanity through Jesus Christ, whom she carried and nurtured and presented in the Temple for all mankind.   


This reachable, womb-like protective Ark is Mary. The living, breathing sacred vessel in whom for nine months Divinity itself was pleased to dwell and be borne into the world for its redemption and rescue. 

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