April 28, 2019 – Ruminations by Fr. Pat

This week I am going to ask you to use your math skills. We celebrate 50 days of Eastertide, so I am going to talk about how numbers are important in the Church.

Think about how numbers play a part in our lives. We have lucky 7, unlucky 13. We have anniversaries, such as a 25th or 50th Anniversary. They are just part of our lives. So it is/was in the Bible. So, let’s look at how some numbers are important.

TWO—The number of witness used in a court of law to make a testimony valid. THREE—The number of God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus spent three days in the tomb. FOUR—The number of the universe. This is probably derived from the fact that there are four winds, four points of the compass, four seasons. SIX—The number of imperfection. Six is one less than seven (the number of perfection). It is often associated with imperfection, weakness, inadequacy and evil. So, we have the number of the Antichrist in the Book of Revelation: 666 (imperfection multiplied and intensified 3-fold). SEVEN—The number of perfection. This is the sum of the number of God (3) and the number of the uni-verse (4). Seven is reflected in the order of the universe in such things as days of the week, colors of the rainbow, and the number (in the ancient world) of the planets. The biblical number for Jesus is 777. TEN—Ten is another number of perfection. It is not as frequent as seven, and does not possess all of its associations, but it is still used with some fre-quency. It is often used in combination with seven. TWELVE—This number signifies unity, wholeness, oneness in diver-sity. Note that it is the product of four times three. This number is reflected in such things as the months of the year, the signs of the Zodiac, the tribes of Israel, the number of the apostles, the twelve days of Christ-mas. INTENSIFICATION—Emphasis may be added to numbers by multiplication. Here again the symbolic value of the numbers may come into play. Seventy sevens (Dan. 9) is seven times seven times 10. PERFECT FIGURES—A square and a cube are perfect figures. The square and the cube of a number function in the same fashion.

Thus, we have the Easter Season of fifty: 5 (one more than four: 1 (one true God) + 4 (the universe) – meaning the sacred perfection of the universe) x 10 (a perfect number, which is comprised of 7, completeness and perfection, added with 3, the Trinity). The multiplication adds importance and perfection.

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