Mary: Ark of the Covenant, Scott Hahn
The following is the transcripts of Scott Hahn’s audio and video tape presentation, “Mary: Ark of the Covenant” as it appears in the “Catholic Adult Education on Video Program” with Scott and Kimberly Hahn. Other transcripts are available for download as well. For more information on this program, download (OVERVIEW.TXT) from the St. Joseph Communications file library. This program is also available for purchase either as a whole (20 Video tapes with study guides) or individual programs (1 Video tape with accompanying study guide) from the St. Joseph Communications Marketplace. Other tapes and books are available as well.
Program 17 Transcripts
This program continues with the examination of Mary and how she is prefigured in the Old Testament.
A Closer Look at Christ’s Church: Answering Common Objections
The most prominent scriptural theme in the liturgical text of the Church when it comes to the feast of the Assumption, which we are celebrating happily today. You can see, if you had a missalette that the reading for the Vigil of the Assumption has some text that at first might seem to be rather odd and out of place. For instance, we had a reading from 1st Chronicles 15. It doesn’t mention Mary. All it talks about is how David assembled all Israel and Jerusalem to bring the Ark of the Lord to the place which he had prepared for it. It talks about how the Levites then bore the Ark of God on their shoulders with poles as Moses had ordained and then how David commands all of this music and all of this rejoicing. Then it describes, finally how the Ark is brought into the tabernacle which David had pitched for it and they offer all these sacrifices and peace offerings to God, and then David turns around and blesses the people in the name of the Lord. And you’re thinking, “Why choose this text? There are literally thousands of texts to choose from, why a text about a box? And all of these guys jumping and singing and dancing around a box, and putting it in a tent and then singing and dancing and offering sacrifices and blessing people in the text?”
Kind of unusual. But then for the Responsorial Song in the Vigil Mass from Psalm 132(:8), the responsorial is , “Lord, go up to the place of your rest, you and the Ark of you holiness.” Now, this isn’t Noah’s ark, this is the Ark of the Covenant. We’ll get a little bit more into the background in just a minute, but why the Ark of the Covenant, and this is an ancient liturgical tradition. These are texts that have been included in the liturgy of the Assumption as far back as we can trace it, and this is like 7th Century, 6th Century. We can’t trace it back much farther than that, but all this historical evidence points to the fact that this has been celebrated from ancient times. So you can’t just say, “Well it popped out of nowhere in the 6th and 7th Century,” because back then Churches were liturgically hyper-conservative. I mean you didn’t just innovate and then say, “Well, we’ve got a new feast.” Then all of a sudden have it catch on in the Church all around the world.