Even though I’ve never left the Catholic Church, there was a time in my youth that I studied the Bible under nondenominational leadership.
They found me through the love they had for my dad, who sold their ministry mountains of candy for a snack bar they ran at their school in Lenox.
They could not help but be ignited by the burning fuse of devotion to Christ that my father’s life exemplified.
One of the things they loved to do was teach the Bible using a comparison method called “typology” and “foreshadowing.”
For example, Abraham and son Isaac, who was almost killed on the altar by His father, were a “type” of God the Father and Jesus the Son, a “foreshadowing” of the atoning death of Christ on the Cross.
In today’s Gospel reading from Matthew 8, I could not help but sense typology and foreshadowing being used by the writer as he described the story of Peter and his very sick mother-in-law.
Jesus entered the house of Peter,
and saw his mother-in-law lying in bed with a fever.
He touched her hand, the fever left her,
and she rose and waited on him.
My evangelical friends, who I know love me very much, might want to go and make popcorn for this part, I’m about to take a wild swing at Marian theology.
Peter, the Rock, is a “type” of the Church.
His mother-in-law, not his biological mother, but the one who becomes his mother by him being grafted into his wife’s family, is a type of “the Virgin Mary,” who Christ emphatically commands from the Cross, shall be our “grafted-in” mother, when He says to her and the Apostle John “woman behold thy son.”
If you think I’m making this up, here’s the K.J.V. from John 19:26-27. (Notice the exclamation marks.)
26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son!
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Here’s the bottom line.
The Apostle–“whom Jesus loved,” was a foreshadowing “set up” all along.
Jesus “loves” all Apostles.
Jesus then tells “all Apostles” to take Mary into their home.
Remember, if you’re an evangelical, you believe Mary had other sons…if so, where the heck were they that day, and why did Jesus instruct her to live with someone else, other than to demonstrate “typology and foreshadowing”?
What then does Peter’s mother-in-law do when she rises?
Does she attend to anyone but Christ?
Our mother is Christ’s number one servant, as she is the one who said, “behold I am the handmaiden of the Lord.”
When we bring our prayers to her, we are not ignoring Christ, or God the Father, we are in fact receiving preferential treatment, as our prayers are washed and prepared by a tender-hearted mother, who is the heart of any home.
Our rosary, which yes, is repetitive, is no different from the Children of Israel who repetitively marched seven times around the walls of Jericho.
What did they hold up when they did that?
The ark of the covenant–that’s what.
What was safely stored in that ark?
The Word of God–that’s what.
What was safely stored in the Virgin’s womb?
The Word Incarnate…now I’m getting a bit repetitive.
O.K. friends–you can come back from your popcorn break now.
The Bible speaks to us in many ways, but none is more mystical than when it asks us to see with enlightened eyes.