Posted by: fvbcdm | June 14, 2017

Feast of Saint Anastasius of Cordoba (14 June 2017)

Today Our Lord tells us in the gospel of the Mass: I have come not to abolish the law and the prophets, but to fulfill them. Jesus himself is the fulfillment of the Old Testament, just as he is the Word—we often speak of him as the Incarnate Word of God.

This concept reminds me of the one and only time I’ve attended a Jewish worship service. I was teaching at Bishop Lynch High School in Dallas in the late 60s. In connection with a course in comparative religion, two of our Dominican Sisters, two of us priests, and about 30 students went to Temple Emmanuel one Friday night for the service. I was struck by the reverence with which, at the beginning of the service, one of the several rabbis who were there in liturgical robes went up to what is called the Holy of Holies—a sort of cabinet at the front of the synagogue, took out one of the scrolls of the law, covered by rich tapestry and adorned with a silver crown, and laid it on the table where our altar would be. There, he uncovered the scroll and unrolled it to the place he wanted. I realized how a number of the elements of their regard for the Law or the Word of God correspond to ours. Their synagogue and our church; their Holy of Holies and our tabernacle; their “everlasting light” which burns before the Holy of Holies, and our tabernacle lamp, and above all, their reverence and love for God’s Law and God’s Word and our adoration and devotion to Christ, the fulfillment of the Law and the Incarnate word of God. Our Jewish brothers and sisters are indeed close to us in our common regard for the Old Testament and the understanding that we live by “every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Thank you for seeking God’s truth. God bless you. Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  Father Brown composed this message some years ago.  Please pray for the souls of the faithful departed, including Father Brown.

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