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Monday, October 06, 2014

Weren't The Readings Interesting Yesterday?

This is one of those times where this post could get long, so get a cup of coffee, or a roll of Spree, and settle in. [No one eats Spree but you.--ed.] Fine. Whatever.

It struck me as I heard the first reading from Isaiah 5 to keep in mind the context: Israel in the north has already fallen, and Jerusalem's fall is not far behind. That's why the field is overgrown, and there are briers and the like. Judgment is coming, and right soon. But did you catch the thing about wild grapes? Did anyone else think of Romans 11, or was that just me? And this is precisely what St. Paul is actually talking about in Romans 9-11, not some weird Calvinist election thing. St. Paul is trying to explain how God has not repudiated Israel, even if most of Israel is presently rejecting the Anointed One: it's for the salvation of the Gentiles. That's most Christians today, by the way.

And then in the Gospel reading, (Mt. 21:33-43) the Lord says the same thing: someone else is going to receive your inheritance. He holds them responsible, (just like Esau) but the plan will not be thwarted. True Israelites receive Jesus; false Israelites reject Him. So it has been, and so it shall be.

That's why I've been mildly intrigued by the discussion about how much Christ can be seen in the Old Testament among the Reformed, but I don't have a dog in the fight. If a putative minister cannot give the true sacraments of the New Covenant, he's wasting his breath, ultimately. Only the grace of the New Covenant will feed the pilgrims on the way to the New Jerusalem. (OK, it's not that long.)

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