The Catechetical Review - Communicating Christ for a New Evangelization

The Feasts of Israel: Foreshadowing the Messiah Part II—The Fall Festivals

Authored by André Villeneuve in Issue #3.2 of Catechetical Review

In our first article on the Feasts of Israel, we saw how the four spring festivals of Passover, Unleavened Bread, Firstfruits, and Weeks (Shavuot) foreshadow the mysteries of Christ’s First Coming, namely, his redemptive death, his sinlessness, his resurrection, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. In this second article, we will see how the fall feasts anticipate the events surrounding Christ’s Second Coming at the end of human history.[i] The Feasts of the Seventh Month Just as the Passover season in the first month (March-April) includes three distinct feasts, so the festive season of the seventh month (late September-October) includes three festivals: The Feast of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles. These fall feasts differ from the spring festivals, however, in their messianic fulfillment. Whereas Passover, Unleavened Bread, and Firstfruits are fulfilled in Christ’s Paschal Mystery, and the Feast of Weeks in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, it would appear that the fall feasts have yet to be fulfilled. The Jewish calendar hints at this; while the spring feasts are only seven weeks apart, the fall feasts come much later in the year, after the dry summer months. This long, barren period between the spring and fall festivals foreshadows the history of the Church, whereby the spring feasts mark the initial stages of Christ’s work of redemption and the fall feasts its consummation. In other words, the fall feasts have an eschatological significance.

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This article is from The Catechetical Review (Online Edition ISSN 2379-6324) and may be copied for catechetical purposes only. It may not be reprinted in another published work without the permission of The Catechetical Review by contacting [email protected]

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