Sunday, August 15, 2010

Saints and Scripture Assumption

Today is the Feast of the Assumption (or Feast of the Dormition for Eastern Catholics and Orthodox). As such today, I chose a verse that has to do with Mary, but one that I am sure no one has chosen. I read this on Islam and Christianity two years ago and it has stuck with me since:
Ezekiel 44:1 and 2:
Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, facing the east; but it was closed.
He said to me: This gate is to remain closed; it is not to be opened for anyone to enter by it; since the LORD, the God of Israel, has entered by it, it shall remain closed.

While writing this post I see that many others also include 44:3 as part of the prophecy:
Only the prince may sit down in it to eat his meal in the presence of the LORD. He must enter by way of the vestibule of the gate, and leave by the same way.

Mary is the East Gate and no one else besides the Lord, Jesus Christ, has entered because Mary remained a virgin. I am not sure how to eloquently elaborate on this so I will allow Saints Ambrose and Augustine to do so (H/T to Canterbury Tales for the quotes):
"Who is this gate (Ezekiel 44:1-4), if not Mary? Is it not closed because she is a virgin? Mary is the gate through which Christ entered this world, when He was brought forth in the virginal birth and the manner of His birth did not break the seals of virginity." - Saint Ambrose of Milan (ca AD 390)

"It is written (Ezekiel 44, 2): ‘This gate shall be shut, it shall not be opened, and no man shall pass through it. Because the Lord the God of Israel hath entered in by it...’ What means this closed gate in the house of the Lord, except that Mary is to be ever inviolate? What does it mean that ‘no man shall pass through it,’ save that Joseph shall not know her? And what is this - ‘The Lord alone enters in and goeth out by it,’ except that the Holy Ghost shall impregnate her, and that the Lord of Angels shall be born of her? And what means this - ‘It shall be shut for evermore,’ but that Mary is a Virgin before His birth, a Virgin in His birth, and a Virgin after His birth." - Saint Augustine (ca AD 430)

I'm not sure if Ezekiel 46:1-3 are also part of the prophecy but that passage seems an appropriate ending:
Thus says the Lord GOD: The gate toward the east of the inner court shall remain closed throughout the six working days, but on the sabbath and on the day of the new moon it shall be open. The prince shall enter from outside by way of the vestibule of the gate and remain standing at the doorpost of the gate; then while the priests offer his holocausts and peace offerings, he shall worship at the threshold of the gate and then leave; the gate shall not be closed until evening. The people of the land shall worship before the LORD at the door of this gate on the Sabbaths and new moons.

May God bless all who read my ramblings,


Dianna@The Kennedy Adventures said...

The Assumption of Our Lady is one of my favorite feast days! I'm not close to my own mother, so I feel a special connection to Mary.

Thanks for posting this unique verse connected with Mary, and for stopping by our corner.

Barbara Schoeneberger said...

I'm glad you're joining Sunday Snippets. We are now getting a nice mix of men and women contributing. I think this meme is a big help to our spiritual life.

On the east gate: I wish I could study the symbolism, but here's my two cents: Our Lady is the east gate through which Christ, the Orient entered the world. I think the words do show her perpetual virginity and that these passages from Ez. are prophecy. At the end of the world Christ will come again from the east, and Mary, who is our intercessor with Christ, His Queen mother, will be with Him. Just some ideas.