Città del Vaticano 13/10/2008In Number 55 of the Instrumentum Laboris, titled “The Word of God: Source of Dialogue between Christians and Jews”, we read: “Special attention is given to the Jewish people. Christians and Jews are both children of Abraham, grounded in the same Covenant, because God, who is always faithful to his promises, has not revoked the first Covenant (cf. Rm 9:4; 11:29). Nevertheless, that which is not touched upon in this number is the question of the uniqueness and salvific universality of Jesus Christ before the Hebrew people.
The no to the Christian Mission in Relationship to the Hebrews
On one hand, we know well the exposition of Dominus Iesus, which declares that the grace of God-which, according to our faith, is the grace of Jesus Christ- is available to all. Consequently, the Church believes that Judaism, that is the faithful response of the Hebrew people to God’s irrevocable Covenant, is for it a source of salvation, because God is faithful to His promises.Such a mission, in the strict sense, cannot be used in speaking of the Hebrews, who believe in a one and true God. As a result, no Catholic organization for the mission to the Hebrew people exists.
The Uniqueness and Salvific Universality of Jesus Christ
On the other hand, it must be said that many Catholics do not know how to reconcile the no to the Christian mission in relationship to the Hebrews with the witness from apostolic times, which clearly show that the presence of the apostolic mission was directed precisely to the Hebrews.
In the New Testament, the universal salvific will of God is closely connected to the unique mediation of Christ: “[God] wants everyone to be saved and reach full knowledge of the truth. For there is only one God, and there is only one mediator between God and humanity, himself a human being, Christ Jesus, who offered himself as a ransom for all” (1 Tm 2:4-6).
It was in the awareness of the one universal gift of salvation offered by the Father through Jesus Christ in the Spirit (cf. Ep 1:3-14), that the first Christians turned to the Jewish people, showing them the fulfillment of salvation that went beyond the Law, they confronted the pagan world of their time, which inspired to salvation through a plurality of saviors. (Dominus Iesus, 13).
[00198-02.05] [IN165] [Original text: Italian]
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