Sticking it to the Jews
Anti-Semites have even used Christian doctrine as bogus justification (thus adding sacrilege to their sin).
In the middle part of his letter to the Romans (from which today’s first reading is taken), St. Paul addresses the situation of the Children of Israel.
And he really sticks it to them.
He is clear about the fact that many of them have rejected Christ, although some have indeed accepted Jesus as the Messiah.
So also at the present time there is a remnant,
chosen by grace....
What Israel was seeking it did not attain,
but the elect attained it;
the rest were hardened...
(cf Romans 11:5,7)
St. Paul is also clear about other important points about the Jewish people: points that stick.
His first point that sticks is the Jews’ historic key role in God’s saving plan.
Theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants,
the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises;
theirs the patriarchs,
and from them, according to the flesh,
is the Messiah.
(cf Romans 9:4-5)
His second point that sticks is their current role in God’s plan.
Through their transgression
salvation has come to the Gentiles.
(cf Romans 11:11)
His third point that sticks is their future role in God’s plan.
I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers,
so that you will not become wise (in) your own estimation:
a hardening has come upon Israel in part,
until the full number of the Gentiles comes in,
and thus all Israel will be saved...
St. Paul sums it all up this way:
In respect to the gospel,
they are enemies on your account;
but in respect to election,
they are beloved because of the patriarchs.
For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable.
Just as you once disobeyed God
but have now received mercy
because of their disobedience,
so they have now disobeyed
in order that, by virtue of the mercy shown to you,
they too may (now) receive mercy.
For God delivered all to disobedience,
that he might have mercy upon all.
We are all sinners. We are all in need of what God offers in his saving plan: salvation through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
We also need to help each other towards a fuller understanding of God’s plan and a more perfect living out of that plan in our lives. It should be obvious that anti-Semitism can have no part of that.
Despite their present rejection of the Savior, the Jewish people are still mysteriously involved in God’s saving plan in Christ, for the gifts and the call of God stick.