Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Four Living Creatures

Following patiently my hosts here in Princeton, NJ as they visit various malls and shopping establishments, I came across a strange setting in one of those shopping centers. My imagination sent me back to the Living Word of God in the Holy Scriptures, as I visualize what popped up in my mind looking at this...

I recalled the Word of God from the Book of Revelation which corresponds to the vision of the Prophet Ezekiel (Eze 1:10): "And before the throne [there was] a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, [were] four beasts full of eyes before and behind. And the first beast [was] like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast [was] like a flying eagle. And the four beasts had each of them six wings about [him]; and [they were] full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come." (Rev. 4:6-8)

The Catholic Tradition sees in those Four Living Creatures the four Evangelists - Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Apart from this traditional interpretation, I like the following one from this website:

"The four living creatures stand for everything that is noblest, strongest, wisest, and swiftest in nature. Each of them has the pre-eminence in his own particular sphere and world. The lion is supreme among beasts; the ox is supreme among cattle; the eagle is supreme among birds; and man is supreme among all creatures. The lion is the king of beasts, the noblest of them all. The labouring ox is the strongest of beasts. The eagle is the swiftest of all birds. And man is the wisest in all creation.

So, then, the beasts represent all the greatness and the strength and the beauty of nature. Here we see nature praising God. In the verses which are to follow we see the twenty-four elders praising God; and when we put the two pictures together we get the complete picture of both nature and man engaged in constant praise and adoration of God. The ceaseless activity of nature under the hand of God is a ceaseless tribute of praise."

Noblest. Strongest. Wisest. Swiftest.

These are virtues we should strive for, I believe, as human beings and Christians... Nobility. Strength. Wisdom. Swiftness.

Then, these four armchairs reminded me of the coming Advent and its four Sundays. It reminded me of the Advent Wreath and its four candles we light one by one on each Sunday of the Advent...

It reminded me of the four directions of the world. North, South, West and East... The whole world...who awaits to be transformed into new world and new heaven, when Christ comes again...

Advent prepares us thoroughly for the celebration of the Nativity of Our Lord. Yet just the other day I saw a sticker on a car somewhere: 'Keep Christ in Christmas!'... 

It's amazing how everything can lead us to God and His Living Word. 

Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus!

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