When my sister was little, she ran to my mother after a nightmare. Attempting to soothe her fears, my mother told her she should pray to Jesus and remember He is always with her. With worry wrinkling her forehead, my sister replied, “But Mama, I need somebody with skin on ’em!”
The tabernacle and its Ark of the Covenant were the Old Testament expression of God’s desire to be present with His people. Jesus, our new Covenant, and Mary our new Ark, carry this expression forward into the Church, where God is still present on His throne.
Thank you, Terrie and Patricia C, my newest Friends of the Show, for loving and lifting me!
LOVE the Word™ is a Bible study method based on Mary's own practice: lectio without the Latin.
L – Listen (Receive the Word.)
O – Observe (Choose one or more of the following personality approaches to connect the passage to your life and recent events.)
F | Franciscan – As you listened to this week's show about the ark, what action did you feel inspired to take? Take the time, now or sometime this week, to do what was in your heart.
I | Ignatian – Imagine you are St. John, now a 90 year old man, to whom Jesus “gave” His mother from the cross when you were still a teenager. In Ephesus, you provided for and loved her on His behalf for years, but she has gone to heaven to be with Him now, and you have been exiled to an island for your faith. As you are “in the spirit on the Lord's Day” (Sunday), you receive a consoling vision from God. Using all your senses in turn – sight, sound, touch, taste, smell – imagine the vision:
“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm. A great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head” (Revelation 11:19-12:1).
A | Augustinian – The OT ark of the covenant was the throne from which God ruled. The Old Testament ark of the covenant, Mary, Jesus, the Church collectively, and you and I individually all express this idea. Jesus said “the Kingdom of God is within you,” meaning, your soul should be the throne of God.
Is Jesus the ruler of your heart and life, completely? What are you holding back?
T | Thomistic – See if you can identify the who, what, when, where, why, and how of the OT and NT ark: Who is the OT arks; who is the NT ark? What is the OT ark; what is the NT ark? And so on…
V – Verbalize (Pray about your thoughts and emotions.)
Remembering that He loves you and that you are in His presence, talk to God about the particulars of your O – Observe step. You may want to write your reflections in your LOVE the Word journal. Or get a free journal page and guide in the right-hand margin.
E – Entrust (May it be done to me according to your word!)
Thank you Lord Jesus for giving us your mother to be our own. Help us honor You, by honoring her as You do. Amen +
*LOVE the Word™ exercises are offered according to FIAT: the four personalities, or “prayer forms,” explored in Prayer and Temperament, by Chester Michael and Marie Norrisey: Franciscan, Ignatian, Augustinian, and Thomistic: FIAT! These prayer forms correspond to the Myers-Briggs personality types.
Notes and References
Exodus 25:10-22, the exquisite description of the mysterious contents of the Holy of Holies
Exodus 20:4-5, “You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth…”
Numbers 3:29-31, The Levite tribe of Kohath was responsible for carrying the ark on the wilderness journey.
2 Samuel 6-8, David mistakenly allowed moving the ark by ox cart, resulting in its instability. Uzzah reached out to steady it and died as a result of touching it.