A preemptive comment came into the combox:
“Although it is interesting to research our family roots, as Christians that is not where our identity lies.”
Part one: Condescension. Let’s paraphrase:
“Awww! That’s so cute! You’re researching your family tree!”
Part two: Condemnation. Let’s paraphrase:
“You’ve betrayed your true identity as a Christian and as a priest. What you’re doing is not of Jesus, but of the betrayer.”
In response – to this self-proclaimed Christian – a few points:
- As Abraham with Lazarus recommended for the those of us here on earth, I’m going to look to Moses and the Prophets to point out Jewish Jesus.
- As Jesus said, salvation is of the Jews.
- As Saint Paul says:
“They [the Jews] are Israelites; 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. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.” (Romans 9:4-5)
There is a chosen people. There is still a chosen people. There is no public revelation given to anyone else. The Scriptures, “old” and “new”, are all of the Jews. There is no such thing as Islamic revelation, Native American revelation, whatever… No!
- While it is true that the Jewish Messiah, the Suffering Servant, the Priest of priests, is without lineage according to the order of Melchizedek, that refers to belonging not to Aaron’s priesthood, but rather to Himself, He who offers Himself. He is still always the Son of David, with genealogies spread throughout the Gospels.
- Moreover, the chosen people are still the chosen people inasmuch as they are part of the Israel of God, however much they have a veil, as Saint Paul calls it, covering over the fulfillment of revelation in Jewish Jesus.
Saint Paul also says that, in the age to come, there will be neither Jew nor Gentile. Great! But as to the accusation that I am betraying my heavenly identity by investigating my earthly identity, I say this:
- One’s salvation can absolutely hinge on whether or not one is a racist. We may not all be saved – as we do have free will and some of us misuse it – but we are all of us certainly redeemed by Jesus on the cross. I’m sure that Jesus is not impressed by someone who, with all racism, smacks down someone just because of their race. We belong to the human race, all of us, white, black, brown, yellow, whatever. Now take this point with the next:
- I’m personally sick and tired of racist bigots who attack the Jews for being Jews. I’ve even gotten a death threat recently. “I want to kill Jews,” he said to me, knowing I’m Jewish. “You son of a B****!” he shrieked and shrieked. If I stand up for being Jewish it’s because I accept what Jesus did for all of us on the cross; it’s because I accept my identity as a Christian and as a Catholic priest.
The video I made of the children’s names at the children’s memorial in Yad vaShem – Jerusalem:
It makes me want to pray:
If I do up some family research, it’s so as to stand up for those who are smashed down in death by the millions. And that’s a good thing to do.