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Tue October 2 2018  11:18amReligious/Rant

. . .and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled  (Lk.21:24b)
. . .that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  (Rom.11:25b)

An essential element of the Catholic Faith is the conviction that the Church will abide, that the Lord Jesus will never abandon his bride (cf.Mt.28:20b).

This blog article is best read in conjunction with a study of the prophet Jeremiah and of the letter of Paul to the Romans, especially chapter 11.

Likewise the chosen people of the Old Covenant knew that the Almighty would never forsake Israel (Is.44:21). But that firm belief didn't prevent the prophet Jeremiah (±600 B.C.) from foretelling the fall of Jerusalem and the captivity in Babylon. Many prophets in Jeremiah's day were boldly predicting victory and blessings for Israel. They were wrong; Jeremiah was true.

Nor did Paul's lament that a blindness had come upon his fellow Jews mean that he had lost faith in their status as God's chosen race. That privileged status is irrevocable (Rom.11:29). God does not break his promises.

Suppose we view the crisis in the Church in a similar way: neither losing faith in God's unalterable promises, nor pretending that everything is OK. The man they call Pope Francis is a humanist at best. Bishops, priests, and theologians are neglecting to preach the Truth, many openly doubting the very existence of unchanging Truth. As with Jeremiah, as with St Paul's honest lament, we ought to acknowledge - and lament - that a great blindness has come upon the Church.

Let there be no doubt - Israel, especially her leaders, were unfaithful, the majority broke faith with the Almighty. But God does not break faith; his promises are sure, and the Jewish people are still his chosen race. As it turned out, the blindness that came upon the Jewish clergy 2000 years ago signaled a sort of changing of the guard, when God's focus gradually turned from the chosen Semitic people to the Gentiles. One door (apparently) closed that another greater one might open. But notice - what Jesus prophesied, what Paul recognized - they both said 'until...'. Which is to say, the changing of the guard they spoke of is temporary, and will one day end.

When, precisely, might this happen? When will 'the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled'? Might not the current blindness in the Church portend another great change? Could we be seeing the fulfillment of the great 'Until' of which both Jesus and Paul spoke? The age of the Gentiles may be drawing to its close before our eyes. If this is so, what greater door might be about to open? The same Jeremiah who foretold the defeat of Jerusalem at the hands of Babylon also saw farther ahead, that if they would repent of their faithlessness, God would deliver his people and bring them back again (Jer.29:10-14). At the coming of Jesus, when the Old Covenant was nearing its completion, there were a faithful few who recognized and welcomed their long-awaited Messiah (Lk.2:25, Lk.23:51). In those first years, many Jewish leaders remained blind, but many others repented and believed (Acts 2:41, 4:4). They saw a greater door opening, the fulfillment of their religion and of God's promises.

The Church is failing, that much is clear. Ought this realization fill us with trepidation? On the other hand, the Lord's promise to remain with his Church is rock solid. Ought we then be filled with hope as we anticipate the greater door that may soon open? My opinion: we ought to be filled with holy fear (Rom.11:20ff), and with a spirit of repentance, repentance for our personal sins and for the part we have played in the collective blindness and unfaithfulness. So as to be prepared, Until...

  
rev. Mon Dec 3  7:52pm

7 comments:

Lenore Tue Oct 2  12:52pm
L
we meet again. Have to study those scriptures listed above.
Lenore Thu Oct 4  12:43pm
L
As Saint John Paul spoke, we are in the time of the Door of God's Mercy and the Fire of the Holy Spirit in the new evangelization; God sent his disciples out in pairs; glad you are my partner.
Lenore Thu Oct 11  8:44am
L
My son deserves a capital H. i love you. Lenore
Jerry Wed Oct 17  2:00pm
J
Assume you're talking about 'he', 'him' or 'his' referring to God. Classic Christian literature, including most Bibles, spell the male pronoun normally even when it refers to God.
Lenore Fri Oct 19  1:25pm
L
thank you for your clarification.
Lenore Wed Oct 31  12:40pm
L
until....only the Father knows. In today's Gospel Jesus did not open the door for the man for he did not know him. we must follow the narrow way ... until we meet again.
Lenore Mon Nov 5  3:55pm
L
and God is Love


 
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