23 November 2019

Jewry, and Eschatology

As Dom Gueranger explains, the instinct of the Latin Church, in these last glorious Sundays before Advent, was to think about the Salvation of the Jews in the End Time (vide Romans 11:25sqq.). He draws our attention to the Introit (from Jeremiah 29) which we keep repeating in November:
Thus saith the Lord: I think thoughts of peace and not of affliction; ye shall call upon me, and I will hearken unto you: and will bring again your captivity from all places. Psalmus 85 Lord, thou art become gracious unto thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob.

And those of you with Anglican Previous could blow the dust off your Prayer Books and read the passage from Jeremiah 28 which BCP provides for the 'Epistle' on Stir up Sunday. Like the accompanying Gospel, it is a passage which, in the Middle Ages, different parts of the Latin Church used on different Sundays, but always just before or just at the start of Advent. It goes back to our earliest lectionaries, the Comes of Wuerzburg and the Comes of Murbach, and is common to the Medieval rites of Sarum, York, and Hereford. (This venerable and ancient Proper does not feature in the Dominican and Carmelite rites: others more learned than I am may know whether it now survives anywhere in the Catholic Church.)

And then  ... how are we to understand the majestic words in the Gospel which follows: Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.

I gave you the exegesis of Abbot Rupert a previous year. I'll reprint it tomorrow. And I will include parts of the original thread to that blogpost, which included some exceedingly powerful points.

How on earth will the Incoming of Jewry, their eschatological acceptance by Faith of their Messiah and their Entry with him into His kingdom, take place? Will all Jews be saved? But S Paul has just talked about "the Fullness of the Gentiles". Are we to believe that all the Gentiles will be saved? I put these questions, not because I propose to offer answers, but because they will occur to intelligent readers. I am not going to offer answers because, throughout the Church's history, no good has ever come out of eschatological speculations. But good does come out of our humble acceptance of the Promises in Holy Scripture that the One who has promised is faithful to His Promises.

As we think about the Jews, there are two pernicious and totally erroneous dead ends. One is to say that they do not need Christ and are best remaining in their own religion, so we must never ever allow any hint that we have any idea of their conversion. The other is to say that they killed the Messiah, and lie under an everlasting condemnation. Each of these is equally anti-semitic and equally contrary to the immemorial teaching of Scripture. And to the teaching of the Liturgy.

Lex orandi legem statuat credendi.

3 comments:

Todd said...

On your last paragraph, this is very much the view (with some nuances) of the Association of Hebrew Catholics as found in the writings of its founder (which I recommend). You can purchase his book, "Jewish Identity" at their website.

Hans Georg Lundahl said...

On quora I was asked one day about the Catholic attitude to Jews.

I answered it includes both Romans 11 (25 sqq, as you pointed out) and Apocalypse 2:9.

And - on another one - that while St. John was indeed as narrator using "the Jews" for the enemies of Christ consisently in his Gospel, he was well aware that Christ, nearly consistently, excepting the words before Pilate, had used the word "the Jews" very differently (see John 4 Christ using it in conversation with the Samaritan, John 5 narrator using it in the dative, and not Christ in the vocative, for one of the harshest words in the Gospel).

Amateur Brain Surgeon said...

Dear Father. Just after posting what was posted, ABS remembered the mass conversion of the Aztecs in the Americas.

Sorry...