"The moment of the Presentation of Jesus was one of the most dramatic in biblical history, yet almost no one noticed. . . .
"To understand what it is, let's look back to 587 B.C.
"The Babylonians had invaded Jerusalem and the unthinkable had happened.
The Holy City was destroyed and, along with it, the Temple of God.
Inside the Temple something even more precious than the building had
been housed: the Ark of the Covenant.
"Recall what the Ark of Covenant was in the Old Testament. It was a box of acacia wood, covered in gold. Inside it were placed the two tablets on which God had inscribed the Ten Commandments. Also in it was the staff of Aaron and a vial of the manna. Even more important, in this box, this ark, dwelt the very Presence of God in Israel. God mysteriously dwelt within, much as is the case today in our understanding of the tabernacle in our Catholic churches.
"The Lost Ark - Incredibly, however, the Ark was lost when the Babylonians destroyed the Temple and Jerusalem in 587 BC. Some thought that Jeremiah had hidden it in the mountains. Others, that the priests had hastily hidden it in the maze of caves beneath the Temple Mount. Still others argued that it was taken to Ethiopia. But the Ark was gone.
"Empty Temple - When the
Temple was rebuilt some eighty years later, the Holy of Holies was
restored but the Ark was still missing. . . . The
Ark, the mercy seat, was gone. Would it ever be found? Would it ever be
returned to the Temple? Would the Holy Presence of God ever find its
way to the Temple again?"
In a recent commentary, Monsignor Charles Pope (pastor of Holy Comforter-Saint Cyprian Parish,
Washington, DC) reflected on the importance of the return of God to the Temple in the Presentation of Jesus and its importance to the people of Israel at that time and its importance to us today.
To access Msgr. Pope's complete post, please visit:
Community in Mission: A Dramatic Biblical Moment That Nearly Everyone Missed (1 FEB 18)