Monday, December 21, 2009

Pax Sinica: 舊約中基督的預象 What is 'old' is new

舊約中基督的預象

不消很多天,將臨期要引領我們到普天同慶的聖誕節日;我們在這時段內,與舊約中的聖賢,心神合一地,準備基督的降臨。而在舊約中,記載了不同的「人」和「物」出現,作為「基督預象」的徵兆。

人物徵兆的預像

亞當Adam是人類血肉之父,耶穌是人類靈性之父。天主用肋骨創造了厄娃Eve,耶穌肋旁流出的血和水,孕立了教會。

亞伯爾Abel是牧羊人,耶穌是人靈的牧者。亞伯爾因兄弟的嫉妒而遭殺害,耶穌因族人的妒恨而蒙難。

亞巴郎Abraham是天主選民之父,耶穌是基督徒之始。聖經沒有記下耶穌預象的大祭司默基瑟德Melchizedek的族譜,而耶穌並沒有血緣的父親,沒有天主性的生母。默基瑟德獻上酒水,耶穌藉酒水的形狀,真實臨在獻祭的聖事中。

依撒格Isaac背着木柴上山,無辜地自作祭品,無罪的耶穌,背負十字架上山受釘;而依撒格的存活,象徵了耶穌真實的復活。

古聖若瑟Joseph被兄長嫉妒,耶穌是自己族人妒限的對象。古聖若瑟被兄長賣與外族商旅作奴,耶穌被猶達斯Judas以一名奴隸的身價出賣到羅馬人手中。古聖若瑟寬恕了自己的兄長,並救他們脫離飢荒之災;耶穌因其苦難死亡,從永死中救贖了祂的對頭人和一總的罪人。

梅瑟Moses領以色列人渡過紅海,脫離奴役的枷鎖,耶穌則以聖洗聖事救萬民於罪惡的枷鎖。曠野裏,天主讓梅瑟以瑪納manna和水供養選民,耶穌建立聖體聖事養育我們的靈魂,更以聖神作其教會的活水。梅瑟是以色列人的立法者,耶穌是世人的立法者。若穌厄領以色列人民進入福地,耶穌帶領我們進入天國。聖王達味David出生在白冷Bethlehem,耶穌亦誕生在白冷。

事物徵兆的預象

地堂的生命樹tree of life果實,餵養了原祖;基督豕在木架上,成為養育我們永生的果實。無殘疾的幼公羊被用作巴斯卦Paschal羔羊,耶穌是完美無瑕天主的羔羊。巴斯卦羔羊的血免除了天主選民的災害,而基督的血從罪孽中拯救了人類。進食了巴斯卦羔羊後,以色列民族開始了自由的旅程;我們領受聖體,可幫助我們在世途中克勝魔鬼。

瑪納飼養了天主的選民直至他們從曠野抵達福地,我們領洗後的教友生活,有賴領受聖體,幫助我們走如曠野的世途,安抵天鄉。聖體及瑪納都被稱為「天使神糧bread of angels」和「天上神糧bread of heaven」。

梅瑟豎起銅蛇,讓瞻望銅蛇的人得到病癒;耶穌被高懸十字架上,使普世得罪之赦。銅蛇是眾毒蛇的身像,耶穌以罪人的身像降臨、生活、受難和死亡,卻又是無罪完美的人。

舊約中的默西亞預象,切合聖奧斯定所說:「舊約中隱藏着新約,新約顯示了舊約。」

 


What is 'old' is new

During Advent we are united in spirit with the holy men and women of the Old Testament preparing for the coming of Christ. The Old Testament has a number of Messianic types: biblical people and objects, foreshadowing Christ. The types of the Old Testament can be divided into two categories: personal types of Christ (people) and symbols of Christ (things).

Personal types

Adam is the father of all according to the flesh, and Jesus is the father of all according to the spirit. God formed Eve from Adam's side, and God formed the Church from Jesus's side.

Abel was a shepherd, and Jesus is the shepherd of souls. Abel was killed by his own brother out of envy, and Jesus was killed by His own people out of envy.

Abraham is the father of the people of God, and Jesus is the father of Christians. The priest Melchizedek was without genealogy, and Jesus the high priest is on earth without father, in heaven without mother. Melchizedek offered bread and wine and Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist under the appearances of bread and wine.

Isaac, though innocent, was condemned to death and carried the wood of sacrifice. Jesus, innocence itself, was also condemned to death, and He carried His own cross. Isaac was restored to life in figure, but Jesus was restored to life in reality.

Joseph was the object of envy of his own brothers. Jesus was the object of envy and hatred of His own people. Joseph was sold as slave to foreign merchants, and Jesus was sold by Judas, abandoned to the Romans, and suffered the torment of the cross, a punishment reserved for slaves.

Joseph pardoned his brothers and saved them from famine. Jesus pardoned His executioners and saved sinners from eternal death.

Moses led the people out of Egypt through parting waters; Jesus leads people out of sin through baptism. Moses was instrumental for the manna and the spring of water; Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist and gave us the living water of the Holy Spirit.

Moses was the lawgiver for the Jews, and Jesus is the lawgiver for all people. Joshua led the people into the Promised Land, and Jesus leads us to heaven. Both Jesus and David were born in Bethlehem.

Symbols of Christ

The tree of life gave fruit to preserve the body from death. Jesus, Who died on the tree of the cross, became the fruit of eternal life for us. The paschal lamb was to be without spot, and "Jesus is the lamb unspotted and undefiled."

The blood of the paschal lamb preserved the people of God from the plague, and the blood of Christ saves all mankind from the plague of sin. After eating the paschal lamb, the chosen people were delivered from bondage. Receiving the Holy Eucharist helps us to overcome the devil and our passions.

The manna was given to the chosen people in the desert after their departure from Egypt until their entrance into the Promised Land. The Holy Eucharist is given to those who have left sin behind through baptism. They traverse this life as a desert and sing for the Promised Land of heaven. Both the Holy Eucharist and the manna are called "bread of angels" and "bread of heaven."

Moses lifted up the bronze serpent for the curing of the people. Jesus was lifted up on the cross for the forgiveness of the people. The bronze serpent resembled the poisonous serpents, and the Son of God came in the likeness of sinful flesh. He has experienced different temptations, yet is without sin.

St. Augustine reminded us of the these Messianic types when he wrote, "The New Testament lies hidden in the Old, and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New."

My Other Pax Sinica Articles: http://fatheranthonyho.ca/4522.html

This evening, I led a small prayer meeting for one of my prayer groups. We prayed in the presence of some sacred relics.
 

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Relics:

  • 1st century: True Cross, St. Ann, St. Mary Magdalen
  • 13th century: St. Dominic
  • 16th century: One of the Martyrs of Gorum, St. Aloysius Gonzaga
  • 19th century: Blessed Anne Mary Taigi, St. Therese the Little Flower
  • 20th century: St. Mary Goretti, St Gemma Galgani, St Pius X, Blessed Francesco Pianzola, Blessed Alberto Marvelli, Blessed Marie-Leonie Paradis

I am planning to write something about these saints and blessed at the Pax Sinica column in the future.