If you were like me back in August of 2002, your beach vacation was disturbed by the strange publication of “Reflections on Covenant and Mission.” This was a “study document” prepared by theologians of dubious probity. The media reported that the Catholic Church had given up evangelizing Jews.
Some of the people I know and love the most are Jews. I have two Jewish nephews. My best high-school buddies are Jews.
I try to be mannerly about it, but of course they all know that if they said the word, I would baptize them immediately. Then I would get some champagne.
So if you too were nonplussed back in August ’02, then you will rejoice with me: The Catholic Bishops of the United States have issued an official clarification of Church teaching on the matter of preaching the Gospel to Jews. It is not prohibited.
Praise God! Praise Christ! May God save us all by gathering us all into His holy Church!
“Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.” (Matthew 10:40)
…Imagine a man walking past the parking lot of a Catholic parish. He sees a family standing next to their new car, and the priest is praying and sprinkling the car with holy water.
After the blessing is over, the man approaches the owner of the new car and asks, “Why do you imagine that having a priest bless your car will do you any good? Do you think that this will cause God to act in your favor?”
(Someone could ask a similar question of anyone who has a Mass said for someone, or confesses his sins to a priest, or has his baby baptized, or goes to the church and approaches the priest for any reason. “Why do you think this will do you any good?”)
Good question. The car owner could reply, “This is what I was taught to do. We Catholics seek the good things of God by asking priests to bless us and our things. This is what I was raised to do.”
Good answer! But then the stranger asks, “Are you saying, then, that this has nothing to do with me, since I was not raised Catholic? And, after all, how did this whole business of priests blessing people and things get started anyhow?”
Excellent question! The answer is: It all started when God Himself became man and founded the holy Catholic Church by sending out the Twelve Apostles. The reason we believe that the Church dispenses the good things of God is: God Himself set things up this way!