For fuller reference and prerequisite, see the essays before this one similarly titled this week, daily installations.
STUDENT: You rock! I meet your Wayne’s World Awesomeness and raise you 10 Awesomenesses! Now that we are at it, we have done 9, but there are at least two numbers left: 6, or almost six, and 15, or almost 15, but we might have the 15 figured out. So, TEACHER, how do we handle 6? It doesn’t really seem to fit with anything, as it is in the middle of the Old Testament. Any thoughts?
TEACHER: Absolutely! Let us first look at the parts 1-6, and then also look at St Elizabeth’s characterization of that time.
STUDENT: What do you mean her characterization?
TEACHER: Well, it is less well known in this joyful mystery that Elizabeth exclaimed, following her miraculous conception, “Behold, let me withdraw into seclusion, for the Lord shall act on my behalf.” This seclusion effectively lasted until Mary came to visit her in her sixth month. What do you think this might mean before we examine?
STUDENT: I think I have something good: if God shall act on St Elizabeth’s behalf until the midst of month six, it veritably suggests that God shall act with mighty deeds on behalf of the just for the first six parts of human history. That is, great Redemptive activity would be enacted by God for he first six parts of history and would consist of substantial Divine Intervention on behalf of the just of those ages.
TEACHER: Bingo, man you nailed it! And how? Just look at the parts!
1. Darkness: Fall
2. Light: Flood
3. Darkness: Babel
4. Light: Confounding of Tongues, Formation of Hebrew People (Abraham)
5. Darkness: Egypt Enslaves
6. Light: Exodus, Red Sea, King David
The first six parts of history have 3 lights, parts 2, 4, and 6. And what do we see in these lights but supreme Divine Intervention by God on behalf the just! Just follow it:
The first great light is the Flood, and it doesn’t get any more supreme than that: God acts on behalf of Noah with one of the greatest forces of His Discipline in history: the Baptism of the world of its wickedness and the formation of a New World, a world that is beginning to be redeemed.
The second great light is the confounding of the tongues at Babel and the calling of Abraham. Again, Babel is supreme Divine Intervention to restrain mans’ selfish and perverse pursuit of materialistic union apart from God. Too, the extensive direct communication of God with Abraham is substantial involvement.
Finally, the third light, or sixth part overall, is the Exodus, wandering in the desert, and establishment of the Old Testament Kingdom. Need we say more about the supreme miracles wrought by God upon Pharaoh and his Egyptian People, the epic parting of the Red Sea, and the great miracles in the desert, including the Manna from heaven, the healing from the snake bites by looking upon the serpent upon the staff, the striking of the rock to bring forth water, the pillar of fire, and so forth. All these mighty deeds of intervention, as with Noah and Flood, were done “on behalf” of Moses and the Israelites.
Now, note that St Elizabeth’s seclusion and God acting on her behalf effectively ends with Mary’s visit. The scenery now changes to dialogue and love and help between St Elizabeth and Mary, a time of waiting and watching. Too, after the sixth part of history, and in particular with David, major Divine miracles and intervention on behalf of the just taper off, and Jewish history now becomes largely a time of the prophets, a time of waiting and watching for the Messiah (after David and before Jesus, the history of the Jews simply doesn’t contain mega-miracles like the Flood, Babel, or the Exodus. Miracles are mainly small, and the age of the prophets sets in).
STUDENT: This is mind blowing! You are really pulling this off! What else remains?
TEACHER: Guess what, this sixth month has another dimension. More specifically, you see that this sixth part is also light three, of a total of five lights for the Old Testament, as in Augustine’s five ages of the Old Law?
STUDENT: Yes, I do. How does it relate?
TEACHER: Well, remember how Augustine divides the ages by the lights, and, more specifically the middle part of the five lights of the Old Testament?
STUDENT: I surely do. In fact, he went like this:
From Adam to Noah
From Noah to Abraham
From Abraham to David.
And for the record, this makes David in the midst of light three.
TEACHER: Yes! And light three is, again, what part of history?
STUDENT: The sixth!
TEACHER: Amen. Now get this: once again, Mary conceives the Christ in month six. Smack dab in the middle of part six of history is David. And what did the angel Gabriel say to Mary at the time of this conception that relates to David?
STUDENT: BINGO! He said that Mary would bring forth a Son who was to save His people from their sins and that God His Father would give Him the throne of His father DAVID!
TEACHER: Yes! Amen! David, in the sixth part of history, is the seed of the ultimate reign of Jesus Christ, who brings his lineage to complete fulfillment at, first His First Coming, then, in His reign through the Church, and finally, at His Second Coming, just as Mary conceives the seed of Her Son in the sixth month of St Elizabeth.
Note, too, remember how Scott Hahn recalled that David danced before the Old Ark of the Covenant? So St Elizabeth rejoices at the coming of Mary, the NEW Ark of the Covenant.
STUDENT: I’m luvin’ it. Hey, when we are done, can we go get some Big Macs and Quarter Pounders?
TEACHER: Sure, if you buy. Now, there is one more thing in our analysis?
STUDENT: I know! The 15/16 month thing.
TEACHER: Yes! Toward that end, let us first simply show that the ages of creation or beast kings, take your pick, fill up the remaining 6 months after St John the Baptist is born, meaning, the ages of the Church. Let us begin. To do so, we need to return to our ages list above. Specifically at our starting point, St John the Baptist is born at the end of nine months, hence, at the very beginning of the tenth month. By our Old Testament delineation of the ages, the tenth part of salvation history is the fifth light [ (5 days) * (2 parts per day, darkness then light) ], which, by Augustine, and our map, is the First Coming of Jesus. Hence, the tenth month is the First Coming of Jesus.
Now, remember, Mary conceives Jesus within the sixth month of St Elizabeth’s conception. Hence, she will give birth within the sixth month after St Elizabeth gives birth. So if we count from the end of month nine six full months, we have 9+6 = 15 months. Now, we remember that as Mary gives birth not at the end of month six but within the month of six [at an unknown intermediate point], so she will give birth within the 15th month overall, not at the end of it.
Here, now, is your map to confirm we have a near total alignment:
10. Light: First Coming of Christ
11. Darkness: Pagan Rome Persecutes
12. Light: Catholic Christendom, Doctrinal Development
13. Darkness: Intermediate Gentile Secular Apostasy [today]
14. Light: Minor Chastisement, Gentile Renewal, Our Lady's Age of Peace [future]
15. Darkness: Great Apostasy, NT Antichrist [future to now]
16. Light: Second Coming of Christ [future to now]
We are only off by one month: In our Salvation History parts analogy above, Jesus returns “in the 16th part”, effectively the very end of month 15, whereas, in the Joyful Mysteries analogy, Jesus is born within the 15th month, not at the very end.
So, why does Jesus supposedly come back in the 15th month rather than the beginning of the 16th? OK! Let us ask ourselves what would happen if Jesus came at the very end of month 15. That would clearly mean allowing month 15, or the great apostasy and tribulation, to run its natural course. What would that be? Well, unfortunately, we have seen in previous theology that man is basically incurably wicked at the end. He won't convert even when the consequences of his sins come upon him (see the persons that curse God in the vials of wrath, Apocalypse 16, rather than repent when punishments come). Subsequently, he will persist in his wickedness until the end. And clearly, the end of a world in unrepentant wickedness is death, total death. But Jesus said He would come early, to shorten the days for the elect, else no flesh would be saved! Bingo! Jesus comes early to stop man from destroying himself. Therefore Jesus interrupts month 15, the great apostasy and tribulation, at some point, just as Jesus is born somewhere within the 15th month, and not at the end!
So it truly fits completely: by Advent Tradition, the birth of Jesus, His First Coming, is a type of the Second Coming!
STUDENT: This rocks! You did it! Tell you what, I’ll pay for three meals each for us, one for each killer dimension we have here: the days of creation, the beast kings of Apocalypse 17, and the Joyful Mysteries.
(for full reference, see Theology of the Ages - The Joyful Mysteries as Image of the Whole of Salvation History)