Saturday, April 01, 2017
Guéranger: the Church reminds us of the apostasy of the Jewish nation - Part II
Continuing from last week our examination of supercessionism in Volume 5 of Dom Prosper Guéranger's The Liturgical Year,the Gospel reading for Friday of the second week of Lent is from Mt 21, where we find the Parable of the Vineyard whose husbandmen eventually kill the owner's heir, that is, his very own son who was sent to them.
Here we have more than the mere figures of the old Law, which show us our Redeemer in the far distant future; we have the great reality. Yet a little while, and the thrice holy Victim will have fallen beneath the blows of His persecutors. How awful and solemn are the words of Jesus, as His last hour approaches! His enemies feel the full weight of what He says; but, in their pride, they are determined to keep up their opposition to Him, who is the Wisdom of the Father. They have made up their minds not to acknowledge Him to be what they well know He is -- the stone, on which he that falls shall be broken, and which shall grind to powder him on whom it shall fall. But what is the vineyard, of which our Lord here speaks? It is revealed truth; it is the rule of faith and morals; it is the universal expectation of the promised Redeemer; and, lastly, it is the family of the children of God, His inheritance, His Church. God had chosen the Synagogue as the depository of such a treasure; He willed that His vineyard should be carefully kept, that it should yield fruit under their keeping, and that they should always look upon it as His possession, and one that was most dear to Him. But, in its hard-heartedness and avarice, the Synagogue appropriated the Lord's vineyard to itself. In vain did He, at various times, send His prophets to reclaim His rights; the faithless husbandmen put them to death. The Son of God, the Heir, comes in Person. Surely, they will receive Him with due respect, and pay Him the homage due to His divine character! But no; they have formed a plot against Him; they intend to cast Him forth out of the vineyard, and kill Him. Come, then, ye Gentiles, and avenge this God! Leave not a stone on a stone of the guilty city that has uttered this terrible curse: 'May His Blood be upon us and upon our children!' [Mt 17:25] But you shall be more than the ministers of the divine justice; you yourselves are now the favored people of God. The apostasy of these ungrateful Jews is the beginning of your salvation. You are to be the keepers of the vineyard to the end of time; you are to feed on its fruits, for they now belong to you. From east and west, from north and south, come the great Pasch, that is being prepared! Come to the font of salvation, O ye new people, who are gathered unto God from all nations under the sun! Your mother the Church will fill up from you, if you be faithful, the number of the elect; and when her work is dome, her Spouse will return, as the dread Judge, to condemn those who would not know the time of their visitation. [Lk 19:44]