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Posts Tagged ‘Bob Dylan’

I’ve been looking forward to The Catholicism Project for a long time now and it’s finally going to be airing — just apparently not in my area.  I’m a big fan of Fr. Robert Barron and his “Word On Fire” video monologues on YouTube.  It’s hard to find someone who appreciates the wisdom of both Thomas Aquinas and Bob Dylan, but Fr. Barron speaks passionately about both of these freewheeling Christian philosophers, and does so with a thoughtful and articulate approach that’s appealing to religious and secular audiences alike.

The Catholicism Project is a series (I think twelve parts) which is going to be shown on various PBS affiliates throughout the country, with the notable exception of Massachusetts.  I’m trying not to be skeptical about it being on PBS, but it’s difficult, because the Public Broadcast Service is not exactly known for its conservative viewpoints.  Their politics generally lean to the left, and that’s putting it “conservatively.”  First the Red Sox’s epic collapse and now this.

Anyway, I’ll be hoping to catch it somewhere on TV (if not on the Internet), and I suggest you check it out in the early days of October, too, if you get the opportunity.  I never knew how addicted I could be to learning Church history, and of course world history in general.  Trying to learn world history without Catholic history is like trying to go swimming without getting wet.

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Typology.  This is a word that aggravates me.  Maybe you know it.  But if you do, I’m angry with you too, because you never told me about it.  People who evangelize need to stress typology in their teachings, because, if you don’t, it’s like leaving out the O’s in a game of Tick Tack Toe.  It’s half the story.  Typology is biblical foreshadowing.  Great teachers repeat themselves, repeat themselves, repeat themselves when they really want to drive home a point.  Well, the greatest teacher is no exception.  In fact, all other teachers are but imitations and lesser replicas of THE TEACHER.  In other words, they are repetition.

Did you know that there are multiple Eve’s in the Bible?  I suppose a lot of people know that Mary, Jesus’ mother, is often referred to as The New Eve, but the Virgin Mary is all over the place in the Old Testament; as is Jesus himself.  Moses was a Jesus type.  Joshua was a Jesus type.  Joseph and Daniel, and on and on.

God is an author.  He knows what’s going to happen to his characters before he even writes them into the story.  “Ah ha!  So you admit it’s a story!”  Yes.  It’s His-story.  History repeats itself.  The Divine Déjà vu is a reoccurring theme of recurrences.

O little town of Bethlehem.  Did you know that Bethlehem means “House of Bread”?  That’s significant, isn’t it?  There’s more bread in Scriptures than in a bakery.  In Exodus, manna rained down from the sky to feed the Israelites.  “What’s that?”  That’s the answer to the question: manna is Hebrew for, “What is it?”  Because that’s what the Jews said when they first saw the lightly sweetened bread on the ground, after they’d been wandering around the desert with nothing to eat.  It makes me laugh, because I always think of a Mel Brooks character looking down and saying: “Vat is it?!”  It’s bread from Heaven.  This was the second foreshadowing of Christ in the Bible already.  Most biblical scholars believe that Melchizedek was Jesus before the actual incarnation.  He picked up a temporary body from Home Depot, just long enough to make the First Covenant with Abram (whom God would later rename Abraham).  Melchizedek translates as “my king (is) righteous(ness)”, and he was introduced in the 14th chapter of Genesis as the King of Salem (hold that thought; that’s also significant) and priest of El Elyon (“The Highest God”).

There is only one other individual in Scriptures who is both King and priest.  The Old Covenant was consecrated between Melchizedek and Abraham with bread and wine.  This ceremony might sound familiar to you, because the New Covenant (another way of saying the New Testament) was also consecrated over bread and wine between Jesus (the living incarnation and fulfillment of the Highest God) and twelve descendents of Abraham.  Abraham, which, by the way, the Bible says was Hebrew for “the father of multitudes”, though some scholars contest this etymology.  But keep in mind that some modern scholars don’t want “BC” to mean “Before Christ” anymore.

Bread was a staple, a necessity in Jewish culture in order for it to be considered an official meal.  It’s a necessity to have Jesus in order to attain eternal life.  (I know this doesn’t jive with a lot of people, but I’m just pointing out the connection.)  The Last Supper is the sacrifice; Jesus Christ gave His body in the form of bread to his disciples that night — before Calvary.  “Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him.”  The institution of the sacrament of Holy Orders to perpetuate this sacrifice.

In the book of Exodus, after Pharaoh refused to heed God’s warning, God told Moses to inform His people that all the firstborn males in Egypt would die, except for the Israelites whose doors had the blood of a lamb around them.  And not just any lamb, but an unblemished lamb.  They were ordered to check it TWICE for any flaws.  Anyone with the blood of the perfect Lamb on their house would be spared and passed over.  Thus began the tradition of the Jewish Passover.  I know this is all common knowledge, but did you ever notice that Pontius Pilate examined Jesus (“the Lamb of God”) twice, and found him to be without guilt?  Flawless and pure.  Mary had a Little Lamb whose fleece was white as snow.  Prior to having Him scourged, Gov. Pontius Pilate examined Him and found “no cause in him”.  Then again after He was whipped to a bloody mess, Pilate talked to Him and concluded that He was clean.  He doublecrossed our Lord.

Jesus was crucified on a hill on the outskirts of Jerusalem.  Amen, amen, I say unto you — just outside of Jeru-SALEM.  In the Gospel of John, the “beloved disciple” emphasizes the time of Jesus’ death as being three o’clock in the afternoon.  This would have been PROFOUNDLY significant to the Jews of the time, because three o’clock was the time when the lambs were slaughtered for the feast of the Passover.

John’s Gospel is a sacred scavenger hunt, filled with hidden treasures.  You get the feeling that, if you talked to John, he’d have done a lot of demonstrative throat-clearing, and pregnant pauses, giving you time to pick up on the subtle hints he’s dropping.  For instance, in the book of Ezekiel, ch. 47, a nondescript person is showing the Prophet Ezekiel the new Temple, and one of its features was a fountain flowing with holy waters issuing out from under the threshold on the right side, toward the east from the altar (the Holy of Holies).  The thing is, historians know that there was no such fountain on the Temple.  So what was this?  Some inane Bible babble?

Fast forward a couple thousand years, John clears his throat and winks at you, while explaining:

[33] But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
[34] But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water.
[35] And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
[36] For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.”  (John, ch. 19)

Jesus is the new Temple described in Ezekiel.  This is obvious, as He himself said that He would destroy the Temple and then rebuild it in three days.  In the Psalms it said that no bones would be broken, because the Lamb has to be unblemished, so the soldier pierced His right side (the Sacred Heart; the Holy of Holies), thus producing the fountain of holy waters issuing from the right side of the Temple.  “On the third day Jesus rises from the dead, glorious and immortal.”

But, let’s go back again.  Let’s go back to Salem, with Abraham in Genesis, ch. 22.  Bob Dylan describes it in his song “Highway 61 Revisited”:

Oh God said to Abraham ‘kill me a son’
Abe said ‘man you must be puttin me on’
God said ‘no’, Abe said ‘what’
God say ‘you can do what you wanna but
the next time you see me comin you better run’

OK, so God tells Abraham to sacrifice his firstborn son — his only son, Isaac, “whom you love”, conceived miraculously in he and his wife’s old age.  The next morning Abraham and Isaac, and some of their servants, got up early and headed up to the mountains of Mori’ah (as far as I know, there’s no connection here to Mariah Carey), it is believed by many that this mountain range was either in or near Salem, which later became Jeru-salem.  Abraham had Isaac gather wood for a sacrifice.  So, there you have Isaac carrying wood up the hill for his own sacrifice.  (Any of this sound familiar?)  ON THE THIRD DAY, Abraham found the spot where the sacrifice would take place.

Then Abraham said to his young men, “Stay here with the ass; I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and come again to you.”  (Genesis, ch. 22, v. 5)

Which is almost exactly what Jesus said to His apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane, just prior to being dragged off to be executed.  Anyway, Isaac looks around and notices that they have firewood, but inquiries as to where the heck the lamb to be sacrificed is; to which his father replies:

God will provide himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.

Interesting wording there.  God will provide “himself” the lamb for a sacrifice.  Then, of course, the angel of God stops Abraham just before he kills Isaac.  Because, after all, God will provide himself the lamb a few thousand years later at the same location.  His-story repeats itself.  Repetition is the mother of perfection.  Or did I already say that?

The Mother of Perfection is who I intend to write about in the next part.  The New Eve, the Queen Mother, the Ark of the Covenant.  When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom: be it done unto me according to thy word.

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