The Guéranger Blog

Welcome to the Gueranger Blog! You have stumbled across the notebook I use to record my thoughts as I read through Dom Prosper Gueranger's 15-volume set, The Liturgical Year. I do not have any special expertise in liturgy, but I have some general knowledge of Catholic theology and an enthusiasm for Gueranger's magnum opus. Think of it as the Liturgical Year fan site!

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Did God reject Israel?

Canisius | 06 January, 2006 03:30

In Vol. 3, p. 136, Gueranger says in a prayer, "If thy predilection, for a long period of ages, was for the race of Abraham, henceforth thy preference is to be given to the Gentiles. Israel was but a single people; we are numerous as the sands of the sea, and the stars of the firmament. Israel was under the law of fear; thou has reserved the law of love for us."

It is difficult to know what Gueranger would say if quizzed about this. Even if we leave aside such passages of Scripture as Romans 11, which states that God still intends good for Israel because his call of Israel is irrevocable, one must deal with the fact that many promises were made by the prophets to Israel as a nation. Are we to think that God did not and will not keep those promises?

But even more fundamentally, it is clear beyond doubt that the writers of the New Testament thought that the promises to Israel were fulfilled in Jesus. Furthermore, Jesus himself was a Jew, and Mary was a Jew, and the apostles were Jews, and Jesus entire earthly ministry (in which he preached the law of love!) was directed primarily at Jews, and the early Church of Acts 1-5 consists primarily of Jews. God does not seem to have lacked any love for the Jews!

Lastly, there is a kind of logical fallacy in this contrast between gentiles and Jews. If we say that the law of love was given to us rather than to them, who is the "us" in this statement? "Jews" names an indentifiable group in the 1st Century AD, but "gentiles" just means "not Jews". To say that God has preferred gentiles to Jews is not to say that God chose group B over group A, but simply that out of the whole world God has chosen group A for his special hatred. This is clearly not true: God does not exclude Jews from the new covenant. It's not that God has chosen B over A, but that he no longer chooses a group for differentiation, whether ethnic Jews or otherwise.


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