Lately I have been reading the Old Testament a lot and I found once and again Israel to be the chosen people of God. It is a fact. In the New Testament Jesus says that He came first for the lost sheeps of the House of Israel (Matthew 15:21:28). My question is now why is the Catholic Church so distant from the nation of Israel, being that we are so linked to them?
The nation of Israel is a secular nation. We call its members “Israelis,” not “Israelites” as in Scripture. Many or even most do not practice the Jewish religion. We do have a bond with the Jewish religion since we see Christianity as the fulfillment of it. Judaism is in our very bones. Pope John XXIII said that spiritually we are all Semites. Our staff member, Rosalind Moss, a convert from Judaism, says that one cannot be more Jewish than to be Catholic! So many aspects of being a Catholic reflect our Jewish heritage. The very notions of sacrifice and liturgy is Jewish as well as blessings, incense, candles, altars, holy days, the kissing of sacred objects, rites of purification, the chanting of Psalms and so much more! We revere our Jewish brothers and sisters and pray for the day when they will join us in recognizing Jesus as their Messiah.
Fr. Vincent Serpa, O.P.