In this time of anticipation, bright lights and sparkling trees are glowing, but a cry pervades the liturgy and the soul of believers: Marana thà! O Lord, come!
The Light that shines on humanity: Jesus, the Messiah awaited for centuries.
The unfathomable plan of Divine Mercy, known only when history is at its height, is revealed.
Since Israel gave its assent to the One who called it, it has waited and dwelt in the revealed Word, the Torah.
We Christians, having received this great gift, proclaim that the child named Jesus, the Saviour, is the Messiah: he saves us and reveals the love of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Undoubtedly, many doubts today overshadow this certainty, but they can become that very stumbling block where God Himself is present.
Episodes of anti-Semitism resurface over and over again, what are they trying to say? They are unprocessed, unreasoned remnants resting on ideologies that have little or nothing to do with the Word that becomes flesh.
Those learned in history and theology do not hesitate to claim that anti-Semitism involves hostility based on “chimerical” statements, originating from imaginary conceptions, which attribute to all Jews conducts that have never been observed in real life and, therefore, have no “kernel of truth” whatsoever. (G. Languimir).
The promulgation of the Nostra Aetate Declaration number 4, in October 1965, during the Second Vatican Council, marked a definitive breakthrough:
In contemplating the mystery of the Church, the sacred Council recalled the intimate bond between the people of the New Testament and Abraham’s descendants.
Not only but also the birth and history of the Church bear its seal:
It also reminds us that the Apostles, foundations and columns of the Church, were born of the Jewish people, and so were the many first disciples who proclaimed the Gospel of Christ to the world.
Since that historic moment, Jewish-Christian dialogue has gained momentum, is evolving, engaging Jews and Christians and experiencing the epiphany of friendship. Furthermore, on December 10, 2015, the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews issued the document: “The Gifts and the Calling of God are Irrevocable” (Rom 11:29) – A Reflection on Theological Questions Pertaining to Catholic–Jewish Relations.
These are not abstract dynamics but concrete events that illustrate the extent to which anti-Semitism should be considered a shadow that enables the light to shine more brightly.
Pesce is incisive: “Jesus was born, was raised and grew up in Jewish culture and with its people. He never left the Jewish culture and the Jewish people. The concept of the Kingdom of God is Jewish, the concept of Messiah is Jewish, the Bible, an essential cultural reference point for Jesus, is a Jewish cultural product.”
If we observe his proclamation we can only but agree with Gianfranco Ravasi: “He is mentally structured according to Semitic cultural features, as attested by his language that privileges paratactic and parallelistic lóghia, parabolic symbolism, corporeity, unlike the Greek world that relied on syllogistic subordination, speculative abstraction, interiority.”
Certainly, albeit emanating from this root, Christianity is perceived differently: “The newness is the very person of Jesus and the onset of the Messianic time offered in Him, as a time of grace and mercy of the God of the Covenant: it’s the newness of love poured out from on high through Him into the heart of the believer.” (B. Forte).
How then can we come together with the cry Marana thà? Replies Jewish poet E. Fleg: “Why try to supersede one another instead of kneeling down as equals before the mystery of a twofold faithfulness, which undoubtedly unites us, but until the sun of the final light, separates us into the visible plans of God? You are waiting for a return; we are waiting for a coming. Let the two faiths remain two faiths, for in this expectation there resides the same hope.”