|Thomas Cypher ’87
In Solomon’s temple, the most sacred area was the holy of holies, an innermost section housing the ark of the covenant. The ark contained three items: manna, supernaturally preserved since the time of Moses, the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, and Aaron’s rod: a staff made from a dead tree branch which miraculously produced buds, blossoms and ripe almonds. The 3 items within the ark represent and foreshadow Jesus, the living bread from heaven (manna), the perfect fulfillment of the law (Ten Commandments), and the resurrection (a dead branch that returns to life).
As we celebrate Mary, the Mother of God, we appreciate that she is the ark of the new covenant. While the original ark carried symbols of the messiah, Mary carried the actual messiah. With Jesus in her womb, Mary was intimately connected to the savior and brought him everywhere. The Eucharist gives us this same opportunity to be intimately connected to Jesus and bring him wherever we go. Partaking of Jesus’ Body and Blood fully profits us when we allow him to become part of us. We must follow Mary’s example.
Mary also became Our Lord’s first disciple when she accepted her calling and said, “may it be done to me according to your word.” Once she agreed, Mary never abandoned or deviated from her purpose. During the most difficult times of her life–from birthing him in a stable to closing him in a tomb–she remained completely and wholeheartedly dedicated to her son. Mary’s uncompromising faithfulness is one reason that all generations call her blessed.
Each day, let us honor our Blessed Mother by adhering to her standard of uncompromising faithfulness and complete dedication to Jesus, especially during the most difficult times. May we intimately connect to her son and carry him with us always.