Thursday, September 13, 2007
I am very sorry that I missed the opportunity to wish all of our Jewish elder brothers and sisters l’shana tovah, or, Happy New Year, yesterday, prior to its beginning today. This High Holy Day marks the beginning of the year 5768.
In the declaration of the Second Vatican Council, Nostra Aetate, which we looked at yesterday as regards Islam, we read of Israel: "As the sacred synod searches into the mystery of the Church, it remembers the bond that spiritually ties the people of the New Covenant to Abraham's stock. Thus the Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to God's saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are found already among the Patriarchs, Moses and the prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ-Abraham's sons according to faith -are included in the same Patriarch's call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church is mysteriously foreshadowed by the chosen people's exodus from the land of bondage. The Church, therefore, cannot forget that she received the revelation of the Old Testament through the people with whom God in His inexpressible mercy concluded the Ancient Covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that well-cultivated olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild shoots, the Gentiles. Indeed, the Church believes that by His cross Christ, Our Peace, reconciled Jews and Gentiles. making both one in Himself" (para. 4).
It is not too much to say Jesus Christ makes no sense outside the context of Israel.