Monday, 30 December 2013

Mystery of two natures

The mystery of the Presentation, when Jesus is recognized by Simeon and the elderly prophetess Anna, "really brings together in the Temple all that was living and true in the Old Testament. This mystery shows us how the union of the Old and the New Testaments is found in Mary, how in and through her the Old Testament is assumed by the New without being abolished: the Old Testament is completely transformed" (M.-D. Philippe OP). The Mystery betokens the union of human and divine natures in Christ – the assumption of a human nature through a divine personality. The Old Testament is human nature brought by God to its highest point in Mary. It has been built up through the ages to reach the point represented by Mary sitting in her room with the Scriptures open on her lap, ready to receive the Word of God. She receives, and those Scriptures are raised to a higher level in Christ, a human nature assumed and therefore transformed by a divine Person. Anna and Simeon recognize what has happened. Among the last prophets of the Old Testament, they see the dawning of the New.

The quotation from Fr Philippe is taken from Magnificat, December 2013, p. 453. The Icon is by the hand of Father Vladimir.

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