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The child Katechon

Source: Mark 13:30


The soul of those whom you will engage in combat is legion, but your soul, too, is without number. With all these grains of sand, with the love of Christ to cement them, with the prayers of the saints to moisten them, you will build a retaining wall, and the enemy will not prevail against you.

Eli is eight years old. He watches the clouds. From north and south, from east and west, they swirl slowly; they stack up strangely. Their startling dance began five days ago; already their mass impresses, oppresses. It is rumoured to be seen all across the continent; even at midday, its shadow extends as far as the eye can see.
The child lies in the sweet grass. Around his neck is a fine chain bearing a small gold cross that rests on his heart. He knows he will have to wait until the day of rest, the seventh day, for the storm to take him away. He knows this because for the past few days he has had the intuition of time, like a road threading a light so dense that the surrounding landscape seems darkened. He cannot see very far down the road — only a few yards, only a few hours — but, propelled by an irresistible force, he moves ahead toward what he sees.
He sees the road running through time; gradually his eyes adjust and the landscape appears. He knows that the next day the storm will become violent, that early in the night a first whirlwind will emerge from the deep cloud, and that as the night ends, by the beginning of the seventh day, four other whirlwinds will have joined the first. He sees the five whirlwinds approaching, steady, enormous. They do not touch him; he is drawn into the midst of them. The wind is cold, but the light edging the road brushes him with its warm hand and nourishes him with a concentrated current of life, like milk.

In a few hours his descent will begin. Although he has never seen the city below, he knows it is Jerusalem: Jerusalem the ungodly, which kills prophets; Jerusalem the holy, from which the world will be reborn.
The five whirlwinds have moved into the city, destroying everything in their path. Living beings have retreated. Already nothing remains on Mount Moriah; as in Titus' day, the hill is as bare as a bald mountain.
The whirlwinds become less violent, and the child descends. He appears to fall gently from heaven but that is an illusion: he comes down the road. At last he sets foot on the soil of ancient Zion.

He gazes for a moment at the crowd gathering below, then returns his attention to the road. He sees that the light edging the road is gently moving back up to heaven, toward the centre of the cloud where, as the light becomes denser, an opening seems to form and where, once all the light has returned on high, an object appears.
The people cannot see the road. But in the centre of the cloud they can see the light intensify, the opening appear, and the object slowly descend. They stare at the object, amazed.

It is the Ark.

It is the Ark of the Covenant, coming down from heaven. Some two feet above the ground, it stops, hovering.
Slowly, very slowly, the mercy seat atop the Ark is lifted and the Ark opens. The two golden cherubim, one at each end of the Ark, fold back their wings. The child moves forward to the Ark. Removing his small gold cross with its clasp, he places it in the Ark: the cross once ripped the Temple open, but will again bring peace.
Slowly the mercy seat moves back into place. As the Ark closes, the two golden cherubim bring their wings back together.
The Presence.
The Ark touches down.
It will take several weeks for people to notice that the Ark is slowly sinking into the ground. It will take several years for it to dissolve there completely, transforming Mount Moriah into the Holy of Holies and Jerusalem into the third Temple. At that time, on the summit of ancient Zion will arise a spring giving water and the Spirit. This mixture will fertilize the promise made to Jacob, and baptize the barren earth that has been given so much. Here, heaven will always touch the earth; though the ladders will become verdant again, they will not be needed.

On high, in the eye of the whirlwind, the opening of light devours the cloud. As the cloud mass diminishes, the light centre intensifies, forming something like a pillar of fire and creating snow that falls on Eli. Closing his eyes, he allows himself be carried away. His spirit breathes in light, and that light is Spirit.

The child lies in the sweet grass. He recalls what he saw on high. He saw persons bathed in light daub the lintels of their spirit with the blood of the Lamb, and smile as the angel of death passed over them, leaving them unharmed. This time, what they will leave behind is not Egypt but the shadow of death.
From on high, the child saw heaven like a net stretching out over the wide world and, wherever a presence shone in the heart of a church, a sparkling cross hitching heaven to earth.

The people of Christ will be, once again. Their success will be in humility, their greatness in sharing, their strength in the Presence. And the builders will no longer find that a single stone is missing.