[Please don’t be alarmed by the new blog title and format. Same content as before. A little change does us all good sometimes. Love, the Editor.]
The Lord covered Himself in glory by drowning the Egyptian army that pursued the Israelites. That’s the tale of Exodus 14-15.
We know this has a spiritual meaning. Certain events occurred in the life of the nation of Israel, in which God painted history itself—like a mystical kind of canvas, in which we can see ourselves. We read about the Passover of the Red Sea every year on Holy Saturday night at the… Easter Vigil.
On this mystical canvas of history, the Israelites represent…? Us. The human race, summoned by God to the Promised Land.
The Promised Land represents…? Heaven. Full communion with our Creator and with each other. The fulfillment of all our deepest desires and the realization of our full potential to love.
The Egyptian army represents…? Demons. All the forces that work to prevent the full flowering of our human destiny. Our own weaknesses and selfish tendencies.
The Red Sea represents…? The waters of baptism. The operation of God’s grace in our souls. The spiritual battleground through which we must pass. The great mystery of death and re-birth that brings us home to God.
Moses represents…? Our Lord Jesus Christ.
The entire spiritual meaning of Exodus 14-15 revolves around Christ’s accomplishment on the cross. If Jesus had decided to stay home in Galilee that day, then the Exodus of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt would not have a spiritual meaning. It would remain an important event in one nation’s history. But not a mystery in which every nation could see itself.
Christ did, however, go to Jerusalem to commemorate the ancient Passover, and to fulfill it. He did offer the true sacrifice of Himself, so that water can now cleanse souls from sin. He did open His arms on Mt. Calvary, so that the gates of paradise now stand open again.
The history of Israel became universally meaningful for all human souls because of the particular historical event that every Mass brings to the here and now. This is the glory with which the Lord has covered Himself: the history—that He has painted for us like Rembrandt—has a meaning. And the meaning is: that our lives have hope and a goal. And the goal is: to see the great divine Rembrandt Himself.