Covenants, monologues & burdens


Fr. John R. Donahue’s thoughtful article “Trouble Ahead?: The Future of Catholic-Jewish Relations” (March 13) lays great stress on an affirmation of the late Pope John Paul II. The pope said: “Just as we take note of the ‘covenant never revoked by God’ so we should consider the intrinsic value of the Old Testament, even if this only acquires its full meaning in the light of the New Testament and contains promises that are fulfilled in Jesus.” Donahue underscores the first part of the statement concerning the covenant never revoked, but the second part demands equal attention and, I would suggest, has implications for Christian prayer and mission. Ought Christians not desire that their Jewish brothers and sisters come to recognize the fulfillment of all God’s promises in Christ Jesus?

In discussing the “covenant texts” in the Letter to the Hebrews, Donahue calls attention to the author’s injunction to keep “our eyes fixed on Jesus” (Heb 12:2). But if one asks why we should do so, is not part of the answer given in the very first verses of the Letter? “In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets; but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world” (Heb 1:1-2)....

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