Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Second Day of Christmas

Two turtledoves - the sacrifice that a poor couple would make at the presentation of their firstborn unlike the rich who would offer a lamb and a pigeon. St Joseph and Our Lady are not rich or important in the eyes of this world and must make the lesser sacrifice. Of course they unknowingly bring the Lamb of God to the temple. We see here the confluence of the Old Covenant and the New seamlessly joined in the person of Jesus Christ.

Thus the two turtledoves represent the old and new testaments. The revelation that God brings us is not complete if one of these covenants is missing. The New Covenant makes no sense without the Old to make it clear why it is necessary, to bring to mankind the knowledge of Good and Evil and the awful realisation of the sin that is within humanity both corporately and individually. The Old Testament without the New brings us knowledge of sin, but of no redemption from that sin. Without the Old there is ignorance, without the New there is hopelessness.

The two are held together in Christ, the fulfilment of the Old and the beginning of the New. We find ourselves both enlightened and saved. Such is the respect of God for us. He wants us to understand. He wants us to have knowledge, understanding of the Truth, and also to be free from the concomitant death that comes with that knowledge. The serpent that infects human nature with sin has its head crushed by a little Jewish maiden just by her saying "yes" to God. The strength given to her to do so is provided by the Child she bares in her womb, brings into the world in a squalid cattle-stall, and presents in the temple according to her understanding of the Old Covenant.

It is Christ who holds Old and New together. In Him there is one Salvation for every human being who chooses Him.

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