Question from confused on 12/15/2007:
Can you explain what the Ark of Covenant is or was? If it's the presence of God then how can that be lost?
Answer by Fr. John Echert on 2/19/2008:
The Ark was constructed under the direction of Moses shortly after the Exodus from Egypt of Israel, in accord with very specific instructions from God. It was kept in the Sanctuary Tent and later was kept in the Sanctuary of the Temple at Jerusalem. It was the Throne of God on Earth, which sat atop a box of sorts in which were kept the stone tablets of the ten commandments, as well as a jar of manna and the priestly rod of Aaron. It disappeared shortly before the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 586 BC and it would seem that this was by the direction of the prophet Jeremiah, who hid it lest it fall into the hands of the Babylonians. It has not been seen since. The Presence of God which was associated with the Jewish Temple was long ago replaced by Jesus Christ Himself and now the Church, which is the Mystical Body of Christ on Earth. The former and imperfect manner of God's Presence has been far greater since.