Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. Revelation 11:19

Then the temple of God was opened in heaven, and the ark of His covenant was seen in His temple. Revelation 11:19

 

 

So God heard their groaning, and God remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.

Exodus 2:24-25

One of the many refreshing and fulfilling elements of Catholicism is its strict parallel with Judaism on the theology of Covenant. Outside of Catholic Christianity I never fully understood what a covenant was. I knew it was some sort of pact or agreement, but I did not know its full theological definition – such as its differentiation with a legal contract. Unlike a contract, a covenant is a mutual exchange of persons rather than an exchange of goods, “I will be their God and they shall be my people” (Jeremiah 31:33). It is familial. It is participatory. It is a two-way street.

The divine-human covenantal exchange has several constants theologically. In my humble opinion, the integral part to defining a covenant that G-d makes with His people is its need for renewal. In the above verse, G-d “remembers” the covenant He made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Likewise, in Catholic liturgy we ask G-d to “remember” His Church throughout the world. Does G-d forget about us? By no means. He doesn’t need to remember because He has a bad memory, He needs to remember because we need renewal. When the unchanging and everlasting G-d reaches down to finite and mortal beings, there is an obvious lack of balance between the natures of both parties involved. Unlike G-d’s nature, human nature needs redemption; it needs renewal. Because of our nature, we sin… and we fall into and out of infidelity to our G-d and His covenants. He remembers us when we forget and it is never the other way around. Blessed be G-d forever.

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