A Penitent Blogger

Mindful of my imperfections, seeking to know Truth more deeply and to live Love more fully.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus? Quem patronum rogaturus? Cum vix iustus sit securus?
Recordare, Iesu pie, Quod sum causa tuae viae: Ne me perdas illa die...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Salvation is from the Jews

In today’s Gospel (John 4:5-42), our Lord tells a Samaritan woman something that would be considered very politically incorrect today (if not outright rude).

You people worship what you do not understand;
we worship what we understand,
because salvation is from the Jews.

To be sure, God reveals himself to all people, if only through his creation, as St. Paul says in Romans 1:20:

Ever since the creation of the world
his invisible nature,
namely, his eternal power and deity,
has been clearly perceived

in the things that have been made.

But God also chooses to involve himself directly with humankind universally and normatively in particular ways in particular places in particular times and through particular people.

And at the center of God’s unique and salvific involvement with humankind are the Jews and from them came the eternal Son of God, Jesus Christ, without whom no one can be saved.

That is why the Church speaks so respectfully of the Jewish people, even as it affirms the necessity of Christ for salvation.

The Samaritans thought they could go their own way.

Our Lord sets them straight, calling them to the higher and more perfect truth: a truth that transcends locations and cultures and yet remains concretely anchored in space and time – indeed, in that one man who walked the earth two thousand years ago and who sat by that well, asking for a drink of water.

Jesus said to her,
“I am he, the one speaking with you.”

As we continue our Lenten journey, may we remember to seek the Lord “in spirit and in truth” but also in the real concrete connections that tie us to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ: through word and Sacrament and through the historical continuity of the People of God reborn in Christ the Jew.