2:16-17 16 "For no where doth He take hold of the angels: but of the
seed of Abraham He taketh hold. Wherefore it behoved Him in all things
to be made like unto His brethren, that He might become a merciful and
faithful Priest before God, that He might be a propitiation for the
sins of the people."
In April, Libra
rises in the East. The Hebrew name for this constellation is
"Moznayim," which means "the Scales, weighing." Its Latin name, and the
name by which we know it -- Libra -- means "balance." How
beautifully this sign reminds us of the propitiatory Offering of the
Son to the Father to appease God's justice and pay the wages of
our sins, which is death.
For the wages of sin is death. But the grace of God, life everlasting,
in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Because by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified before Him.
For by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now without the law the
justice of God is made manifest, being witnessed by the law and the
prophets. Even the justice of God, by faith of Jesus Christ, unto all
and upon all them that believe in Him: for there is no distinction: For
all have sinned, and do need the glory of God. Being justified freely
by His grace, through the redemption, that is in Christ Jesus, Whom God
hath proposed to be a propitiation, through faith in His blood, to the
shewing of His justice, for the remission of former sins, through the
forbearance of God, for the shewing of His justice in this time; that
He Himself may be just, and the justifier of him, who is of the faith
of Jesus Christ.
Of interest in
Libra is the oldest known star -- HD 140283, but better known as
"Methuselah," a star that appears to be as old as the universe itself.
In fact, scientists' earlier dating of the star indicated it is older than the universe itself --
an impossibility, of course, but one that seems to have been ironed out
thanks to better observations afforded by the Hubble telescope. How
poetically right it is that this star of great age appears in the sign
that symbolizes Christ's love for us. The words of Ephesians 1:4 come
to mind: "He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world..."
Decan One: Crux
Crux, also known as "the
Southern Cross," is the symbol of our redemption by Christ's Sacrifice.
The Southern Cross is used in the Southern hemisphere the way Polaris
(the North Star) is used in the Northern hemisphere: it it used in
navigation, as the means to find the South Pole. A nearby star --
Alpha Centauri, the third brightest in the entire sky -- is the closest
star to our Sun (the Southern Cross won't be visible above latitudes of
Decan Two: Lupus
At the right
times of the night and at the right time of the year, you will see
underneath Libra, very low on the
southern horizon, a constellation that had formerly been regarded as an
asterism of Centaurus. This group of stars had been seen as
representing the sacrificial offering of Centaurus, the two-natured
being we just read about when we looked at Virgo
and which represents Our Lord. Most fascinating, it had also been seen
as representing a wineskin held by Centaurus, a very fitting symbol of
what happens on our altars. After being separated from Centaurus, it
became known as "Therion" meaning "sacrificial animal"; since the
Renaissance, it is known as "Lupus" (Wolf).
By the older symbology, Christ here is both Priest
(Centaurus) and Sacrificial Victim (Therion) -- and this Sacrifice is
offered on the altar symbolized by the constellation Ara ("Altar"),
a constellation we'll learn about when we get to Sagittarius..
Decan Three: Corona Borealis
constellation is a crown set with a half-circle of seven jewels, which
can be seen as representing the seven sacraments, the media of God's
grace. This crown can be
seen as referring back His Sacrifice, as symbolized by Libra, as it's
through His Sacrifice that we're able to receive the crown
of life and glory we're promised if we endure to the end:
1 Peter 5:4
And when the prince of pastors shall appear, you shall
receive a never fading crown of glory.
Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold,
the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and
you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and
I will give thee the crown of life.
Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that
no man take thy crown.
Two of Corona
Borealis's stars literally "glitter" like gems: T Coronae Borealis and
Coronae Borealis are variable stars that brighten and dim over time,
and the former -- known commonly as "the Blaze Star" -- is also a
nova that periodically erupts with luminosty.
constellation was thought by the Greeks to be the crown of Ariadne, who
gave Theseus a thread to trail behind him so that when he entered the
labyrinth to kill the
minotaur, he could find his way back out again. Labyrinths, along with being symbols of the
path to Jerusalem, have long had a very old Marian symbolism because of
the story of Ariadne -- a woman who points to the Way -- which
makes the presence of this constellation very appropriate at this time.
Libra is first
fully visible over the Eastern horizon in early April and can be seen
in the Spring and Summer in the Northern Hemisphere.
to other stars in the Spring sky: