Friday, 19 December 2014

How Christ said the first mass, By Rev. James L. Meagher, D.D. Part 5.

"The Shekinah Glory Enters the Tabernacle"; illustration from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons; Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer (Ed.), 1908
When John the Baptist baptized the Lord at Gilgal, the Shekina, in the form of a dove, overshadowed Christ. At the Transfiguration, in the form of a cloud. He covered Thabor's height. When preaching in the Temple He spoke in testimony of the Saviour. When he died He left the Holy of Holies as a mighty wind, saying, " Let us go hence." He rested on the western walls of the Temple, according to Jewish writers. The day of the Ascension He surrounded the ascending Christ. "And a cloud received him out of their sight." The day of Pentecost the fiery cloud, the Holy Ghost, 1 filled the Cenacle and rained down tongues of fire on the Apostles, giving each the language of the nations he was to convert.
Jewish writers tell us, the Shekina took up its abode on the summit of Olivet, for three and a half years, day and night they heard His voice in pleading words: " Come back to me, O my people, O come back to me ! " The Presence never spoke again. 2
In numerous places the Talmud has the words " Holy Spirit" having the same meaning as in Christian writings. The Old Testament, the Talmuds, Targums, Philo and Rabbinical writers use words which in translations of the Bible are rendered as Lord, God, etc., which show they had a dim idea or knowledge of the Trinity. As all translations are weak, our English Bible loses these peculiar terms.
The Hebrew Word Yaqara " The excellent Glory," found especially in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, means God the Father in the act of revealing, while the term Memra "the Logos," "The Word," is the Divine Son revealed. Hundreds of times Memra will be found in Moses' five books. The Targum Onkelos gives it 179, the Jerusalem Targum 99, and that of Pseudo Jonathan 321 times. Yaqara is God in his divine majesty; Memra is God in his wisdom; the Shekina is God revealing himself to man.
We give an example of the Targum Onkelos. " God, Yaqara, spoke to Abraham." 4 " God, Yaqara, rested at the top of Jacob's ladder," 5 and later spoke to the patriarch. 6 Moses uses the word when he says God called to him from the bush, 7 promised the manna, 8 when the Hebrews defeated Amalec, 9 when Jethro visited Moses, 10 and when the Lord, Yaqara, gave the Ten Commandments.11 There are hundreds of terms in the Hebrew Bible which are dim revelations of the Persons of the Trinity.
The first foundations of the Hebrew religion was laid by the Eternal Father Yaqara. The forms of nature, the knowledge of divine things, were given by Memra, the Word of God, the Wisdom of the Father, the Son of God. The ceremonial, law, tabernacle. Temple and Hebrew Church were founded by the Shekina the Holy Spirit. The Apostles and converts were then, by reading the Old Testament, ready to receive the belief in the Trinity, first clearly revealed when Christ said, " Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." 12
These words were applied to the Persons of the Trinity in the times of the patriarchs, and continued down through Moses' writings. When God called Moses from the fiery bush to develop the patriarchal religion into the tabernacle and Temple ceremonial and found the Hebrew nationality, he revealed himself by a new name, " I am who am," 13 which was rendered by the Hebrew Jehovah " The Existing One " or Adonai, " Lords," from adon, "Lord," "sir."
While Elohim, from Eloi, " My God," represents the Eternal as creating and governing the universe, Jehovah shows him in his relation to man as the " God of mercy " revealing himself to the world, forming the covenant, giving the Law, forgiving sin, and promised as the Redeemer. Elohim is the God of justice punishing the wicked—the Eternal Father to whom sacrifices are offered by directions of Jehovah the Divine Son, with whom the Shekina acts, enlightening patriarchs and prophets.
After writing the Law and sprinkling the people with blood, " Moses, and Aaron, and Nadab, and Abiu, and the seventy ancients of Israel went up, and they saw the God of Israel." 14 Here the original Hebrew has the word Yaqara, as also in verses 11 and 17.
When God established the daily sacrifice of tabernacle and Temple for perpetual oblation 15 the word is Yaqara, as it is when Moses asked to see His glory. 16 The same word is used when God filled the tabernacle with his glory. 17
The bullock and ram for peace offerings are sacrificed before Yaqara, 18 the Lord, Yaqara, commanded 19 them when He appeared to the multitude. 20 When the ark was set down, Moses said, " Return, O Lord, to the multitude of the house of Israel." 21 God as Yaqara spoke to Aaron and Mary, promised to appear to the prophets in vision and dream, and he spoke to Moses, who saw the Lord Yaqara.22" Moses prayed to the Yaqara not to destroy the Hebrews, and the Yaqara was not with them when they wanted, against his wish, to go to the Promised Land. 23


Leaving not the supernal glories he had with the Father and the Holy Spirit before the world was, the Eternal Son was made man, suffered death to redeem us, then with our nature united to the Divinity, he went back into the spirit world unseen, where he ever offers sacrifices from our altars.
Day by day, at every Mass, he returns from these eternal, boundless, spaceless, timeless realms, hides his body, soul, and Divinity under forms of bread and wine, is sacrificed in Eucharistic offering, in Communion feeds our souls, and then enters again his eternal sanctuary. Thus every Mass is like a renewal of the Incarnation and an entry into heaven. Communion is an image of God made man in the Person of the Divine Son united to each soul who receives him, and the feasts of the Incarnation and birth of Christ intermingle with feasts of the Eucharist in all Church Liturgies.
Every year the Hebrews held a most holy and mysterious Temple rite, foretelling Christ's death and his entry into heaven at his Ascension and after every Mass. God himself told Moses how to establish the ceremonies of this the Day of Atonement, so celebrated in Jewish writings. But only thirty-four verses are all we have in the Old Testament relating to this great day. 24 The ancient world has vanished, the priesthood ceased centuries ago, and not a stone remains on a stone of the Temple. But fortunately, a work hardly ever seen by Christian eye has most minute details of this the most striking of all the Temple ceremonies of the time of Christ.
One Part of the Babylonian Talmud Tract Yomah: " Day of Atonement," is filled with descriptions of the rites and ceremonies of that day. We will first see the orgin of this remarkable product of the Jewish people, which they revere next after the Old Testament. Then we will lay before our readers details picked out here and there from this work, at the same time giving explanations of the text as we go along. This is the first time, we think, that this work has been given to Christian readers in this form. For the Talmud has been looked on as a vile product of the Jewish mind, written to deceive, and perhaps prejudice has prevented its study. We will first give the origin and history of the Talmud.
The year 3,428 of Adam's creation, 128 of Rome's foundation, 626 before Christ, reigned in Babylon Nabuchonosor II. " Nebo protects the landmarks." Nebo comes from nibach " to teach," " to prophesy." Because of their idolatry, God allowed this monarch's armies to capture Jerusalem, destroy Solomon's Temple, carry away the Hebrews as slaves and scatter them over the plains of Babylonia.
There they began to better study their religion. With the Torah " The written Law," in Moses' five books, they claimed, came down also the Talmud " The Teachings "; that these traditions were as old as Holy Writ; that they were equally revealed to Moses with the law, and that they are the explanations and the supplement of the written word and Temple ceremonial.
The New Testament mentions these traditions thirteen times. 25 The Scribes and Pharisees had carried them to excess, which Christ reproved. In their foundations these Talmud traditions are correct. Many traditions come down to us from apostolic days, always existed, came from no Pope or counsel, and found everywhere. Such universal customs or teachings give us an idea of the Talmudic Jewish traditions, when stripped of fanciful, or distorted exaggerations. 26
The Siege and Destruction of Jerusalem, by David Roberts (1850).
In the year A. D. 70, the Jews rebelled against the Romans. Vespasian marched down from the north to invade Judea. Elected emperor by the army, his son Titus became commander, took Jerusalem, destroyed the Temple, carried the captive Jews to Rome, where they worked building the Colosseum. A few years later the Jews again rebelled, and Hadrian captured the sacred city, left it a heap of stones and forbade a Jew to enter the sacred city under pain of death, except once a year to celebrate the Passover.
On the site of an old cemetery, Herod Agrippa had founded Tiberias, nestling on the shores of the Lake of Galilee. The leading Jews made this their religious capital, where they founded a flourishing college, to which wealthy Jews from all the nations sent their sons to be educated, especially if they were destined to become rabbis or preachers of the synagogue.
None but a Jew would be received; the Gentiles were, they held, doomed to hell because they did not know the Torah or written law, and the Talmud or traditional Law, which were only for the Jew. St. Jerome tells us he could not find a Jew in Jerusalem or Bethlehem who dared teach him Hebrew, and he went down to Tiberias, where he says " his teacher feared for his life like another Nicodemus."
In the second century after Christ, the famous Jehudah Hansi, heir of a wealthy family, and honored as a patriarch, was president of this college. He began to write the traditions in the year 150 after Christ 27 which they claimed could be traced back as far as Josaphat, 28 David's recorder, and which they contend God had given to Moses with the written word.
These writings of Jehudah form the Mishna " Study," the first part of the Talmud. His successors at the Tiberias school wrote the part called the Gemara " Explanation " or " Commentary," on these traditions given in each Mishna. Later learned Jewish sages added further explanations, and opinions of different schools of thought which flourished before the destruction of the Temple under Titus, were added. In later ages still other opinions were incorporated till the work becoming unwieldy, a decree of the Sanhedrin forbade any other additions. This is what is now called the Jerusalem Talmud.
In the year B. C. 490, the great Persian king issued the decree that the Jews could return and rebuild their city and Temple. But many Hebrews engaged in trade remained in Babylonia, and at the time of Christ numerous Hebrew colonies there flourished. These also had their traditions coming down, as they held, from Moses. They also began to write them down in the same form as the learned rabbis of Tiberias. Their labors come down to us under the name of the Babylonian Talmud.
The Talmuds, most peculiar products of an age when Christ walked the earth, throw a bright light on the Old Testament, Hebrew customs, Temple ceremonial, public and private prayers, and show the Jew of that epoch in his religious belief and practice.
Living in Palestine before the Babylonian Captivity, the Hebrew kept himself separated from all nations, for he was of the chosen race, of whom the Messiah was to be born. Of brightest mind, glorying in being a son of Abraham, he kept secret from pagans his religion, and it was almost impossible to penetrate the secrecy of his belief and practice. Religious right thinking and living, faith and morals, were only for the Jew. All Gentiles were condemned to hell, because of their ignorance of the Law or Torah and of the Talmud, and they would not teach the Gentiles, for the Law was for the Jews—this was the prevailing idea of the Scribe and Pharisee in the days of Christ.
Mutual suspicions caused the persecutions of the middle ages, the Jew was prescribed in every Christian country, the Hebrew mind became exceedingly acute because of adversity and poverty. But amid all their miseries they held with a death-grasp to their religion— perhaps there is a Providence in this, for they show that the Old Testament is true.

Luke ii, 14.

2 S. Augustine Sermo, Ixxi. de Verb ; Mach. xii. n, xix.

3 Shemoth, R. 2. Ed. Warsh. 7 b. 12, etc.

4 Gen. xvii. 22.

5 Gen. xxviii.13.

6 Gen. xxxv. 13.

7 Exod. iii. 1-6.

8 Exod. xvi 7-10.

9 Exod. xvii. 16.

10 Exod. xviii. 5.

11 Exod. xx.

12 Matt, xxviii. 19.

13 Exod. xiii. 14.

14 Exod. xxiv. 10.

15 Exod. xxix. 43.

16 Exod. xxxiii. 18, 22, 33.

17 xi. 32--36.

18 Levit. ix. 4.

19 Ibidem.

20 Iibidem 23,

21 Yaqara, Numb. x. 36.

22 Numb. xiv. 8

23 Numb. xiv. 14-42.

24 Levit xvi

25 Matt. xv. 2, 3, 6 ; Mark vii. 3, 5, 8, 9, 13 ; Acts vi. 14 ; Gal. i. 14 ; Col. ii. 8, II. Thes. ii. 14 ; I. Pet. 18.

26 See Geikie, Life of Christ, u. 193, etc.

27 Zanolini, De Fide Jud. Cap. 1.

28 II. Kings, viii. 16, 20-24; III. Kings iv. 3 ; I. Par. 1. 18-15.