Today is the Feast of the Entrance of the Theotokos into the Temple. Mary enters the Temple and the Holy of Holies, which once housed the the Ark of the Covenant fashioned according to the instructions given at Mt. Sinai. It has not been seen since 587 BC when Jerusalem fell to the Babylonians and the Temple was destroyed. Now the true Ark of the Covenant, who will contain the Word of God and the Bread of Life, enters the Holy of Holies. The ancient Ark was but a foreshadowing and its meaning and purpose is fulfilled.
As for the ancient relic, 2 Maccabees 4-8 recounts the tradition that the Prophet Jeremiah had it sealed in a cave to be revealed only when “God gathers his people together again and shows them mercy.” And this may also be seen as another image of the Theotokos, for God preserved her as a sealed cave, and revealed her as the true Ark when, through Jesus, he gathered his people together by breaking down the dividing wall and established the universal family of God, that knows no division by nationality or race, the Holy Catholic Church.
Happy feast day!