Marian Devotion (Day 4)
May 04, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 4
A reading from the first Book of Kings (8:1, 3-7, 9-11)
The elders of Israel and all the leaders of the tribes,
   the princes in the ancestral houses of the Israelites,
   came to King Solomon in Jerusalem,
   to bring up the ark of the LORD’S covenant
   from the City of David, which is Zion.
When all the elders of Israel had arrived,
   the priests took up the ark;
   they carried the ark of the LORD
   and the meeting tent with all the sacred vessels
   that were in the tent.
(The priests and Levites carried them.)
King Solomon and the entire community of Israel
   present for the occasion
   sacrificed before the ark sheep and oxen
   too many to number or count.
The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the LORD
   to its place beneath the wings of the cherubim in the sanctuary,
   the holy of holies of the temple.
The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark,
   sheltering the ark and its poles from above.
There was nothing in the ark but the two stone tablets
   which Moses had put there at Horeb,
   when the LORD made a covenant with the Israelites
   at their departure from the land of Egypt.
When the priests left the holy place,
   the cloud filled the temple of the LORD
   so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud,
   since the LORD’S glory had filled the temple of the LORD.
From Mary: Mother of the Lord, figure of the Church by Max Thurian
If God, who attached the promise of His Presence and Revelation to the Temple of Jerusalem alone, and more particularly the Holy of Holies enters the dwelling-place of Mary to accomplish the act of His Presence and Revelation in its most extraordinary form, the Incarnation, then surely it is because Mary really is at that moment both Temple and Holy of Holies, the dwelling of God and the Ark of the Covenant. Later Christ, and then the Church, and then each Christian, will be called ‘Temples of God’ (John 2: 21; 1 Cor. 3: 16; 6: 19), but at the moment of the Annunciation and the Immaculate Conception Mary is the dwelling of God. We shall see that the words of the angel describe her as such. God here has no longer any need for the traditional priesthood, the sacrificial worship of the Temple, of the Holy of Holies, or the Ark of the Covenant. He has chosen, in order to manifest the generosity and freshness of His love for men, a young woman, ineligible for the priesthood, whom He fills with grace without awaiting her prayer and who is the symbol of the Temple, the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant, a ‘sign of the end of the priesthood’ in its sacrificial and privileged form as found in the Old Testament.
The response of the angel to Mary, who is astounded by her divine motherhood since she is a virgin, is going to make clearer, by references to the Old Testament, the fact that she actually is the place at that moment of the Ark of the Covenant and the dwelling- place of God: ‘The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee (épiskiasei); that is why he who shall be born will be called the Son of God ...’ (Luke 1: 35).
In the light of these scriptural parallels, Mary therefore appears at the time of her conception of the Messiah as the new dwelling- place of God, as the tent of meeting or the Holy of Holies, the sacred heart of the people of Israel upon whom the luminous cloud will come, the Holy Spirit or the power of the Most High, that is, God transcendent to His creatures, so that He might cause to dwell in her the glory, His one and only beloved Son, full of grace and truth, the Word who is made flesh and tabernacled amongst us, God present to His creatures.
Musical Selection (Kurt Sander)
All of creation rejoices in thee: O full of
grace: the assembly of angels, and the race
of men, O sanctified temple and spiritual
paradise, the glory of virgins, from whom
God was incarnate and became a child, our
God before the ages. He made thy body
into a throne, and thy womb He made more
spacious than the heavens! All of creation
rejoices in thee: O full of grace. Glory to thee,
glory to thee, glory to thee.
Lord God,
with artistry beyond all telling
you fashioned a holy temple for your Son
in the virginal womb of Blessed Mary;
grant that, in faithfully safeguarding the grace of our Baptism,
we may worship you in spirit and in truth
and become like Mary a temple of your glory.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever. Amen. (Temple of the Lord)