37 – The Old Covenant has not been revoked. The Jews have maintained their faith in God and should continue on their way: The Church is enriched with the values of Judaism

In the Declaration Nostra Aetate no. 4, Vatican Council II manifests the doctrine consistently recognized by the Church ever since the time of Saint Paul, that the Jewish People would finally convert to the Lord: “Nevertheless, God holds the Jews most dear for the sake of their Fathers; He does not repent of the gifts He makes or of the calls He issues. Such is the testimony of the Apostle (Rom 11:28-29, cf. Lumen Gentium, 16: AAS 57, 1965, p. 20). In company with the Prophets and the same Apostle, the Church awaits that day, known to God alone, on which all peoples will address the Lord in a single voice and ‘serve him of one accord’ (Zeph 3:9) (cf. Is 66:23 Ps 65:4 Rom 11:11-32).” However, certain recent affirmations may give the impression that the Israelites should remain as they presently are…

Has God ceased to love the Hebrew people? Does He no longer desire their conversion? Will they be saved while trying to follow the Old Law? Have they kept the faith in God? Do the Jewish rites have a salvific efficacy as the Sacraments do? Are there two paths to Salvation — that of the Old and New Covenant? Should the Church learn from the Jews?

The more questions one raises, the more one seems to get entangled. Let us consider the doctrine of the Church, already twenty centuries old, so as to understand this clearly and to truly love the Jews in truth.

Francis

el-papa-francisco-en-Muro con Rabino

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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter in the various parts of our study

ContentsAuthors

I: Is the Old Covenant Still in Effect?
II: The Precepts of the Old Law in Relation to the New Law
III: What Does the Love of God Toward the Jewish People Imply?
IV: What did Saint Paul say in the context of Romans 11:29?

I – Is the Old Covenant still in Force?

Sacred Scripture

A former Commandment is annulled due to its incapacity to lead to perfection
The First Covenant, being imperfect, was substituted by another
Christ declared the first regime abolished in order to establish the second
The Old Covenant was transitory, it was of the letter that brings death and not of the Spirit
Questions regarding foods and the Sabbath are but shadows of a future reality, the Body of Christ

Pius XII

With the death of the Redeemer the New Law succeeded the Old, which would soon be buried and a bearer of death

Council of Florence (Ecumenical XVII)

The legalities of the Law of Moses may not be observed without the loss of eternal salvation

Benedict XIV

The observance of the annulled ceremonies of the Mosaic Law constitutes a sin

II – The Precepts of the Old Law in relation to the New Law

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The Old Law contained three kinds of precepts: moral, ceremonial and juridical
The moral precepts are parts of the precepts of the Decalogue
The Ceremonial precepts pertain to divine worship
The ceremonial precepts cannot purify from sin for they do not contain grace within themselves
The ceremonial precepts should disappear in order to institute the ceremonies of the New Law
It is a mortal sin to observe the old rites after the Passion of Christ
The judicial precepts referring to human relations among the hebrew peopleceased with the coming of Christ
Christ Fulfilled the Law and Perfected it through Words and Doctrine Granting Grace for its Fulfillment
The New Law perfects the Old Law

Saint Augustine of Hippo

Christ changed the old signs, bringing them to their plenitude, such that there is a clear distinction between those which announced that Christ came, and those which foretold his coming.

III – What Does the Love of God Toward the Jewish People Imply?

Sacred Scriptures

The whole house of Israel must acknowledge Jesus as both Lord and Messiah
Jesus is the Messiah given to the descendants of the Prophets and of the Covenant
The Law, received from the angels, was not observed
Whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts – till they turn to the Lord

Catechism of the Catholic Church

It is an offense to God not to fix one’s eyes entirely upon Christ

Council of Florence (XVII Ecumenical)

No one living outside the Catholic Church, not even the Jews, can participate in eternal life

Saint Augustine of Hippo

The old sacrifice in Jerusalem having ceased, in all places is offered the new sacrifice
When the Jews approach Christ, they shall no longer be abandoned
The Jews should be invited to conversion with love, resisting they shall continue as sinners

Saint John Chrysostom

The Jews when be forgiven neither by circumcision nor by other deeds, but only by Baptism
Beloved, because of their ancestors, the virtue of the latter is useless to them till they believe

Catechism of the Catholic Church

The final Coming of Christ is linked to the Recognition of the Messiah by all of Israel, of which a part is hardened in incredulity

Saint Bernard

One should not persecute the Jews - meanwhile, the dead remain in death.
One should seek the conversion of the Jews, and not their persecution

Saint Thomas Aquinas

By observing their rites, the Jews bear witness to our faith

IV– What did Saint Paul say in the context of Romans 11:29?

 (We recommend that all of chapters 9-11 of the Letter to the Romans be read – it is impossible to include everything here)

Sacred Scriptures

They did not fulfill the Law since they looked to works and not to Faith
It is undiscerning zeal to establish one’s own righteousness and not submit to God
A hardening of a part of Israel will last until the full number of gentiles enter, till then they will continue as enemies of God

Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans: Saint Thomas Aquinas

The blindness of the Jews was permitted for the good of the gentile
Mercy for the Jews will be in virtue of the New Covenant
The enmity of the Jews toward the Gospel helped in the diffusion of the Gospel itself
The Jews will obtain mercy because of the promises made to their forefather
God wishes that all be saved by his Mercy

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