Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Sonja Corbitt

8/14/2009 (6 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The same Spirit that rested on the mercy seat of the Ark, filling the tabernacle 'overshadowed' the Virgin Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant

We should bear our beloved Ark upon our shoulders as we move forward into battles of faith, proclaiming the Scriptures, blowing our trumpets, praying our prayers, processing in joyful expectancy for the moment when the walls fall flat. There is no stronghold that can withstand the power of God’s presence on the Ark.

We should bear our beloved Ark upon our shoulders as we move forward into battles of faith, proclaiming the Scriptures, blowing our trumpets, praying our prayers, processing in joyful expectancy for the moment when the walls fall flat. There is no stronghold that can withstand the power of God’s presence on the Ark.

Highlights

By Sonja Corbitt

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

8/14/2009 (6 years ago)

Published in Living Faith


BETHPAGE, TN (Catholic Online) - Located in the Holy of Holies of the Old Testament tabernacle, the innermost chamber of the Holy Place, was a special piece of furniture. Partitioned off on one side by a veil richly woven in blue, scarlet, and purple thread and embroidered with ornate, gold cherubim, the ark, the most important object in the tabernacle, was enclosed on the three remaining sides with wood paneling overlaid with gold.

Within this beautiful cocoon, the ark rested secretly in the Holy of Holies, bearing the presence of the Lord in the cloud. Only about three feet by one and a half feet in size, the ark was made of cedar-like wood overlaid with gold. Its lid was decorated with two of the glorious, worshipping cherubim, beaten from one piece of gold that further enclosed the lid of the ark within the covering of their wings. Thus, the ark was carefully surrounded by worship, privacy, and mystery.

The word "ark" strangely and prophetically means "coffin," since the Lord used it somewhat as a throne. Inside the small box were the following: the Ten Words (the Ten Commandments),a pot of manna, and Aaron's fruited almond rod. All were fitting reminders of God's perpetual provision for His beloved people.

The ark traveled everywhere with them. Borne on the priests' shoulders, it was carried like a litter, with poles thrust through rings on the sides which made its transport easier, and it was the priests bearing the ark that led the people through the wilderness for forty years, all the way to the Jordan River separating the Israelites from the Promised Land.

Bearing the ark's leadership and the cloud of the Lord on it, it wasn't until the priests' bare toes touched the waters of faith that they separated, in the same way they had at the Red Sea, to allow them to walk through the river on a dry bed. And so they processed across the Jordan into the Promised Land.

This Promised Land would be no picnic, however, for the first thing the people encountered was Jericho, a fortified stronghold whose inhabitants the Israelites had to rout in order to begin making the land their own. By perhaps the most unorthodox method in the history of warfare, the Israelites brought a coffin-throne, with which to do battle, to a siege (Joshua 6).

At the command of God, seven trumpet-blowing priests led the people and the ark in a procession around the city for seven days (Trumpets are a Scriptural symbol of the Voice/Word of God.). On the seventh day, after encircling Jericho seven times, and ending the procession with shouting and trumpet blowing, the walls of the city fell and the people took it completely.

I read recently that Mother Teresa prayed what she called "express novenas" to Our Lady. She would say nine Memorares in a row, all at once, when she needed immediate help. "Inspired by this confidence," I realized something important. The same creative, speaking, brooding Holy Spirit "moving" on the face of the Genesis waters (Genesis 1:2) is the same Spirit, or "breath," that rested on the mercy seat of the Ark, filling the tabernacle, and giving life to the Israelites through what He spoke to Moses (Exodus 40:34-35), and the same Spirit that "overshadowed" the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:35), conceiving new Life, the Eternal Word thus became the Incarnate Word, in her womb. "And the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us..." (John 1:14)

It is for this reason, and several other striking parallels that the early Church Fathers regarded Mary as the Ark of the New Covenant. The Ark on which the Spirit uniquely rested, and which accompanied the Israelites on all their journeys, was arguably the most integral part of the victory at the Old Testament Battle of Jericho, and I would suggest to you that she still is.

For what other reason does the Holy Spirit compel the Church to pray to Mary for her powerful intercession, if it isn't to bring the Ark's influence to bear on our lives and situations, and in much the same manner, processing with her around fortified strongholds in prayer?

A wonderful invitation of grace and means of 'conquering' in our own difficult situations, we must be careful to bear our beloved Ark upon our shoulders as we move forward into battles of faith, proclaiming the Scriptures, blowing our trumpets, praying our prayers, processing in joyful expectancy for the moment when the walls fall flat. There is no stronghold that can withstand the power of God's presence on the Ark.

Remember, most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known, that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thine intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence, I fly to you, oh Virgin of virgins, my Mother. To you I come, before you I stand, sinful and sorrowful. Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in your mercy hear and answer me, and grant me....

------

Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic Scripture teacher, study author and speaker. She is a contributing writer for Catholic Online. Visit her at www.pursuingthesummit.com and www.pursuingthesummit.blogspot.com.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Living Faith

MAKE YOURSELF COUNT! Complete this quick Ash Wednesday survey

Image of Take the Ash Wednesday survey so we can better serve your needs.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online is conducting a global survey on Ash Wednesday practices. Each reader is asked to participate once. The survey will take less than a minute to complete. The results of the survey will help Catholic Online determine how best to serve your needs in the ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS GENERAL AUDIENCE: Ash Wednesday (FULL TEXT: English) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis, Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Dear brothers and sisters, good morning and good path of Lent!It is beautiful and also significant to have this hearing at this Ash Wednesday. We begin the journey of Lent, and we are reflecting today on the ancient institution of the "jubilee"; It is an ancient thing, ... continue reading


Pope Francis' message for Lent (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of

By Pope Franics, Vatican Radio

"I desire mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13).The works of mercy on the road of the Jubilee 1. Mary, the image of a Church which evangelizes because she is evangelizedIn the Bull of Indiction of the Extraordinary Jubilee of Mercy, I asked that "the season of Lent in ... continue reading


'There is nowhere else for us to go': Nuns who feed homeless face eviction after rent nearly doubles Watch

Image of Nuns who feed homeless were told to pay or leave (AP).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The cost of living in San Francisco has skyrocketed to the point that and new reports indicate Bay Area housing has reached such heights that the area's average income can no longer support it. Unfortunately, this means everyone is downsizing or moving - including ... continue reading


The 'Martyred Country': Pope Francis' powerful words on Syria Watch

Image of Pope Francis led the crowds in praying the Hail Mary

By Ann Schneible, CNA/EWTN News

The plight of Syrian civilians involved in the nation's ongoing conflict was at the heart of Pope Francis' appeal to the international community on Sunday, in an address where he also called for a renewed commitment to the protection of life at all stages. ... continue reading


POPE FRANCIS ANGELUS: February 7, 2016 (FULL TEXT: ENGLISH) Watch

Image of

By Pope Francis

Dear brothers and sisters, Goodmorning!The Gospel of this Sunday says - in the drafting of St. Luke - the call of the first disciples of Jesus ( Lk 5,1-11). The fact takes place in a context of everyday life: there are some fishermen on the shore of Lake Galilee, who, ... continue reading


Is this where the Annunciation took place? Ancient artwork sheds light an old mystery about the Virgin Mary Watch

Image of The Annunciation, 1859 (oil on canvas), Pinchon, Auguste.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

One of the oldest depictions of the Virgin Mary is casting new light on the Annunciation. A new look at an ancient depiction in the Yale University Art Gallery is making some question what they believe about the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


How do presidents pray? The beginning of a beautiful tradition Watch

Image of John F. Kennedy praying during the 9th annual Presidential Prayer Breakfast on Feb. 9, 1961 (Prayers for America).

By Abigail James (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

This morning marks the 64th annual National Prayer Breakfast and President Obama's last time attending the remarkable tradition while in office.  LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - On the first Thursday in February, the members of Congress and evangelical ... continue reading


Pope Francis will travel to Mexico as a messenger for peace Watch

Image of Pope Francis has participated in a collective interview, in which he responded to four questions posed by 33 people from various states across Mexico (Catholic News Agency).

By Elise Harris, CNA/EWTN News

Pope Francis will leave for Mexico in just over a week. In a new interview with a Mexican news agency, he told citizens of the crime-ridden country that while there, he hopes to be a messenger of peace, which must be fought for daily. Vatican City (CNA/EWTN ... continue reading


Sparks fly over Pope Francis' interview with Asia Times Watch

Image of Pope Francis did not speak of religion or freedom when praising China as a progressive country (Vatican).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Pope Francis' exclusive interview on Tuesday afternoon has been met with harsh criticism. Though the pontiff spoke highly of the country, he steered clear of religion and freedom talks. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis spoke ... continue reading


All Living Faith News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • Palm Sunday HD Video
  • Can you answer these four challenging questions about Lent?
  • Daily Readings for Wednesday, February 10, 2016
  • Take this thought provoking Stations of the Cross survey
  • Stations of the Cross - Fourth Station: Jesus meets his mother HD Video
  • 10 important things to consider during Lent
  • St. Scholastica: Saint of the Day for Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18
12 'But now -- declares Yahweh- come back to me with all your heart, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 12-13, 14, 17
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18
1 'Be careful not to parade your uprightness in public to attract ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Corinthians 5:20--6:2
20 So we are ambassadors for Christ; it is as though God were urging you ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 10th, 2016 Image

St. Scholastica
February 10: St. Scholastica, sister of St. Benedict, ... Read More