Saturday, January 07, 2012
A pre-figurement of the Trinitatian blessing
At Mass last Sunday when I wasn't being distracted by my son, I was able to catch the First Reading and absorb it. With a fire lit in my heart I returned home and went straight to my Bible to have a closer read of the passage, from Numbers (parts bolded for emphasis):
"The LORD said to Moses, 'Say to Aaron and his sons, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them, The LORD bless you and keep you: The LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you: The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace. So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.'" - Numbers 6:22-27
1. "The LORD bless you and keep you"
2. "The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you"
3. "The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace"
When I had a closer look at this blessing, I couldn't help but notice the orchestration of it and how it appears to be a pre-figurement of the Trinitarian blessing and in itself represents Trinity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Here's how by lining them up with New Testament verses of scripture:
1. "The LORD bless you and keep you" - The Father: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
2. "The LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you" - The Son: "And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light." - Matthew 17:`-1
3. "The LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace" - The Holy Spirit: "For the kingdom of God is not food and drink but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit." - Romans 14:17
Further to this, we read in verse 27 of Numbers 6 that "... they shall put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them". What is it that we do as Catholics before we pray, begin the Mass, etc.? We make the Sign of the Cross; we pray in the name of the Father, in the name of the Son, and in the name of the Holy Spirit. Prayer is made in the name of God acknowledging the distinct personhoods of His triune being; we are blessed and have the name of the Lord put upon ourselves.
"Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever." - Hebrews 13:8