Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saints and their statues

I understand that the high priests of the Old Testament were prototypes of the only High Priest, Jesus Christ.

But what I didn't understand until recently is simply this: the Holy of Holies -- in Judaism -- to say nothing of our Catholic Churches -- are and were prototypes of Heaven!

When the High Priest entered the Holy of Holies yearly, on the Day of Atonement, he did indeed offer sacrifice for, not just the sins of the people but for his own sins. Of course, our High Priest, Jesus Christ, offered only one sacrifice for was sufficient.

But did you know that, within the sanctuary of the Temple, there were images of angels? Not images of Moses, nor David, nor Abraham -- only angels.

Why is that?

Because regardless of the piety of the high priests and the people, at the time before Christ there were no humans in Heaven. Only angels.

After Christ offered His one sacrifice for all, the gates of Heaven were smashed open and people like you and me were, once again, offered admittance into the Kingdom.

And so our churches -- being, as I said, prototypes of Heaven (even more so now since the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ reposes there) have good reason to display images of human beings within them.

At long last, man -- created in the image of God our Creator -- has been welcomed in Heaven. No longer is this Kingdom the exclusive realm of angels, as it was in the days of our ancestors. Now there is an open invitation to mankind to live there.

As the saints do. As I hope you and I will some day.

And that's why the images of human beings complement those of the angels.

Just in case you were wondering. :-)