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Romans IX by Bishop Richard N. Williamson

Let us recall how Jews served God at first,
But the best, that fall, can turn into the worst.

When the savagery of today’s Israelis continues unabated against the Palestinians in their midst, their most savage “mowing of the lawn” yet (that is their own term for it) since the founding of Israel in 1948, it is an opportune moment to consider the nature of the Jews and where they are coming from, as seen by their Creator Himself in the text of His own Word. For in no less than three full Chapters of St Paul’s greatest Epistle, Romans IX to XI, the Apostle to the Gentiles strives to explain to them how the mass of Jews, truly the Chosen Race for 2000 years from Abraham to Christ, could, when their own Messiah at last appeared, have crucified Him and become not converts to His Church but its worst persecutors.

St Paul must have known how the Jews of his time, as of ours, would utterly dismiss him as a “Jew-hater” or “antisemite,” because he begins the three Chapters with his “sorrow and anguish” at not being able to bring to Christ his fellow-Jews (v.2), because as Israelites they enjoyed a little litany of incomparable privileges from God. To this day, if Jews are dominant in so many different fields, it is only because God has not taken away from them the natural gifts of intelligence and understanding which they would need, to provide the Messiah with His human cradle for the benefit of all mankind.

Nor does the failure of the gifted Jews to follow up from the Old Testament to the New mean any failure on the part of Almighty God (v.6), because it was by His own choice, preceding any human choices, to allow the Jews to fall away from Him while He would have mercy on the Gentiles. Thus all Jews by race are the Israel of the flesh, represented by Agar and Ishmael, and Esau, while all Catholics by faith in Jesus Christ, Jew or Gentile, are the spiritual Israel, represented by Sarah and Isaac, and Jacob, merely fore- shadowed by the Israel of the flesh. The entire Old Testament only existed for the New Testament.

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