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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

THE VISION OF THE FOUR CREATURES

THE VISION OF THE FOUR CREATURES
by Dom Prosper Gueranger

As the preaching made to Israel had its four great representatives, Isaias, Jeremias, Ezechiel, and Daniel; so, likewise, would God have the New Covenant to be embodied in the four Gospels, which were to make known to the world the Life and teachings of his divine Son. The Holy Fathers tell us that the Gospels are like the four streams which watered the Garden of Eden (Gen. 2:10), and that this Garden was a figure of the future Church.
Saint Matthew begins his Gospel with the human genealogy of the Son of God, and has thus realized the prophetic type of the Man. Saint Mark fulfils that of the Lion, for he commences his Gospel with the preaching of John the Baptist, whose office as precursor of the Messias had been foretold by Isaias, where he spoke of the Voice of one crying in the wilderness, as the Lion that makes the desert echo with his roar. Saint Luke is represented by an ox, because he begins his Gospel with the revelation of what happened to Zachary in the Temple, where oxen, sheep and other animals were offered, according to the Old Covenant, in sacrifice to the Almighty. And Saint John, in his Gospel, soars like an Eagle to the subject of Christ's divinity, and proves it indisputably against the heresies of Ebion and Cerinthus.
(Photo courtesy of PictureObelix CC BY-SA 3.0 Austria)