One of the by-products, if you will, of my Catholic faith is the freedom from superstition. I have read that some fear and trepidation abounds because . . . it's coming . . . . it's almost here . . . . it's JUNE 6, 2006!!!!
Get it? 06-06-06? In other words, it appears that people are worrying about the date as it reflects the infamous "666" of the Book of Revelations. Holy Patmos, Batman!
While there were days when the DigiSon was a toddler that I suspected he had the number on his scalp somehwere under that thatch of blond hair, I have never been one to read deeply into numerology. However, when thinking about "666" some background in that can be helpful. In the Jewish tradition (of which St. John was a member), numerology did play a role.
As an example, today Jews will often make monetary pledges to charity or give monetary gifts to, say, a boy making his Bar Mitzvah in multiples of 18 ($18, $36, $180, etc.). In Hebrew, each letter has a numerical value, and the letters that make up the Hebrew word chai - life - add up to 18. Thus, there is a positive association linked to that number and the so the tradition that making gifts in an amount associated with the number 18 brings longevity to the charitable cause or the Bar Mitzvah.
The number 7 is another special number in Hebrew numerology, denoting "wholeness" or "perfection". It is a number attributed, thus, to God and we can find vestiges of it even today - as an example, hit a jackpot in Vegas and what you see is a row of sevens. Lucky 7.
But what about 6? 6 is incomplete, 6 is one off from the perfection of God. 6 is what St. John says it is: If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number.
In essence, perhaps 666 refers to . . . us. We, who while made in God's image, is not perfect such as He is. Our "beast", our "anti-Christ" may well be ourselves when we sin, when we fancy ourselves to be on par with God, when we reject His teachings and indulge in the sin of pride. We will be our own downfall, when we reject the gift we have been given, that of Christ's sacrifice.
So, on June 6, 2006, don't go looking for the Beast to come. He's already here. Instead, turn to Christ and remember that even in our imperfection, we are all called "Beloved" by God.