Patristic Lectionary (Year 1) – Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time (Fourth Sunday after Epiphany) – 29 January 2023
[Consonant with both Anglicanism’s and monasticism’s love of patristic theology-spirituality, this is a series of occasional selections from a two-year lectionary for the Divine Office that draws mostly from patristic writings. The lectionary was initially edited by Stephen Mark Holmes (University of Edinburgh School of Divinity) and subsequently re-edited and formatted by Michele Freyhauf (Durham University). Click here for the link to the lectionary. R. M. Healey’s edition is also used if there are lacunae in the Durham edition. Click here for the link to Healey’s formatting of the lectionary.]
[ Image: Joshua Koffman, _Synagoga and Ecclesia in Our Time_ (2015), Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, St. Joseph‘s University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ]
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The Future Conversion of Israel
Lest you be wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery, brethren: a hardening has come upon part of Israel, until the full number of the Gentiles come in, and so all Israel will be saved; as it is written, “The Deliverer will come from Zion, he will banish ungodliness from Jacob; and this will be my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” As regards the Gospel they are enemies of God, for your sake; but as regards election they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. Just as you were once disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may receive mercy. For God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all.
O the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counsellor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory for ever. Amen.
The Second Vatican Council
Nostra Aetate (“The Declaration of the Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions”) 4
The Church of Christ acknowledges that, according to the mystery of God’s saving design, the beginnings of her faith and her election are already found among the Patriarchs, Moses, and the Prophets. She professes that all who believe in Christ, the sons of Abraham according to faith, are included in the same patriarch’s call, and likewise that the salvation of the Church was mystically 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 deigned to establish the ancient covenant. Nor can she forget that she draws sustenance from the root of that good olive tree onto which have been grafted the wild olive branches of the Gentiles. Indeed, the Church believes that by his Cross Christ, our peace, reconciled Jew and Gentile, making them both one in himself.
Also, the Church ever keeps in mind the words of the Apostle about his kinsmen, who have the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenant and the legislation and the worship and the promises; who have the fathers, and from whom is Christ according to the flesh, the son of the Virgin Mary. The Church recalls too that from the Jewish people spring the Apostles, her foundation stones and pillars, as well as most of the early disciples who proclaimed Christ to the world.
As holy Scripture testifies, Jerusalem did not recognize the time of her visitation, nor did the Jews in large number accept the Gospel; indeed, not a few opposed the spreading of it. Nevertheless, according to the Apostle, the Jews still remain most dear to God because of their fathers, for he does not repent of the gifts he makes nor of the calls he issues. In company with the Prophets and 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 with one accord.
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