06 My Jewish Mom? Useless to know it?

synagogue of capernaum star of david

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.

2 Comments

Filed under My Jewish Mom

2 responses to “06 My Jewish Mom? Useless to know it?

  1. pelerin

    I should like to remind that particular commenter mentioned by Fr George that the late Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger (Cardinal Archbishop of Paris) never denied his Jewish heritage. On one of the pillars inside Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris there is a plaque (situated I believe over the crypt where he is buried) which states:-
    ‘Je suis ne juif ….Je suis demeure juif comme le demeuraient les Apotres….’
    (I was born a Jew…. I have remained Jewish just as the Apostles remained Jewish…)
    Do carry on with your research Father and many of us look forward to you finally discovering the proof of your Mother’s Jewish identity.

  2. Nan

    This is such an interesting story, the little bits and pieces you know. I don’t think about genealogy because I’ve been to the villages from whence the great grandparents I knew came here. The church in the village my other great grandparents came from burned down, but at age 70, my great great grandmother hor on a ship and came to this country ad her husband had died and her children were here.

    I have holy water from the village my other great grandparents left, and am a member of the church my ancestors belonged to.

    I don’t have information about my 4th set of great grandparents, one Scotch-Irish, the other Norwegian although as a child we went on country drives and were shown the farmland they owned.

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