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Gentiles shall have entered the Church. 2nd. That Christ is the glory of God's people Israel. This second part of the prophecy is not yet entirely fulfilled; but it will be fulfilled after the fulness of the Gentiles shall have entered the Church; for Christ will then make Himself known to the children of Israel, who will turn to Him with their whole heart, and will place their greatest glory in loving and revering Him as their Saviour and Sovereign Lord.
Another striking prophecy relating to the conversion of the Jews, is contained in the celebrated canticle of our Blessed Lady, commonly called the Magnificat. The Blessed Virgin begins the canticle by magnifying the Lord and declaring the rejoicing of her spirit in God her Saviour. Then she predicts how, in consequence of God's condescension to regard her abjection, by raising her to the exalted dignity of Mother of His incarnate Son, she was to be called Blessed by all generations. Afterwards she extols the goodness of God towards the righteous at all times, and declares that His mercy, as a blessed inheritance, passes from generation to generation to them that fear Him. But far different is His conduct towards the wicked, for His almighty power is turned against them.
“ He hath showed," says she, "might in His arm; He hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich He hath sent empty away.” Lastly, she turns to poor and desolate Israel, to Israel so long estranged and alienated from God by his infidelity, and pre
1 Luke i. 51–53.
dicts in the clearest terms his conversion to God and reception to Divine grace. “He has received Israel His servant," says she," being mindful of His mercy, as He spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever.” 1
When the children of Israel shall be converted to their Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the Gentiles also will be favoured with especial blessings, and the Church of Christ will reach its highest pitch of glory upon earth. St. Paul assures us of this, in his epistle to the Romans, where, speaking of the blessings which accrued to the Gentiles on the occasion of the infidelity of the Jews, and their consequent rejection by God, he writes thus:
By their offence salvation is come to the Gentiles, that they may be emulous of them. Now, if the offence of them be the riches of the world, and the diminution of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more the fulness of them? ... If the loss of them be the reconciliation of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead ?” 2 These last words are worthy of a particular consideration, for they seem to indicate that the entrance of the children of Israel into the Church will be followed by the first resurrection mentioned by St. John, in the twentieth chapter of the Apocalypse, when those that were beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the Word of God, and who had not adored the beast, nor his image, nor received his character on their foreheads, nor in their hands, shall rise to live and reign with Christ a thousand years.
The Church thus prays in her office for Advent :-Ecce dies venient, dicit Dominus, et suscitabo David germen justum, et regnabit Rex, et sapiens erit, et judicium faciet, et justitiam in terra. Et hoc est nomen quod vocabunt eum, Dominus justus noster. In diebus illis salvabitur Juda, et Israel habitabit confidenter. (Domin. i. Noct. 3, Respons. 3.) And again :-Prope est ut veniat tempus ejus et dies ejus non elongabuntur: miserebitur enim Dominus Jacob, et Israel salvabitur. (Fer. 2, infra hebd. i. Capit. ad Nonam.) And again :-Veni Domine et noli tardare;
relaxa facinora plebi tuæ, et revoca dispersos in terram suam. (Dom. 3, Noct. 3, Respons. 1.)
2 Rom. xi. 11-15.
Remarkable predictions respecting the glory of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is exhibited in Holy Scripture as, by excellence, “the Holy City, the City of the Just, the City of the Great King." Our Lord moreover tells us, that Jerusalem is not given up for ever into the hands of the Gentiles, to be trampled underfoot by them, but only till the time of the nations shall be fulfilled; namely, until the Gospel shall have been preached through the whole world as a testimony to all nations. “They shall fall by the edge of the sword,” says our blessed Lord, “and shall be led captives into all nations, and Jerusalem shall be trodden by the Gentiles till the times of the nations be fulfilled.” 1
But what shows most strikingly that Jerusalem is destined by Providence for some great things, is the exalted language with which the prophets of old predict her future glory. These predictions have indeed already had a certain fulfilment, when our Lord sanctified that city, by His presence, by His doctrine, by His labours, by His sufferings, by His blood, and by His death. Yet, when I attentively consider the nature of those predictions, it seems to me that they have not as yet been fully and entirely accomplished; their entire fulfilment is, I should say, reserved to some future period, when the children of Israel shall be converted to the Lord.
i Luke xxi. 24.
The prophet Isaias thus addresses Jerusalem : "Arise, be enlightened, O Jerusalem, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For behold darkness shall cover the and a mist the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee. And the Gentiles shall walk in thy light, and kings in the brightness of thy rising. Lift up thy eyes around about, and see: all these are gathered together, they are come to thee; thy sons shall come from afar, and thy daughters shall rise up at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and abound, and thy heart shall wonder and be enlarged, when the multitude of the sea shall be converted to thee, the strength of the Gentiles shall come to thee. The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Madian and Epha; all they from Saba shall come, bringing gold and frankincense, and showing forth praise to the Lord." 1 "And thy gates shall be open continually: they shall not be shut day nor night, that the strength of the Gentiles may be brought to thee, and that their kings may be brought. For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve thee, shall perish : and the Gentiles shall be wasted with desolation."And again : “ The moon shall blush, and the sun shall be ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Sion, and in Jerusalem, and shall be glorified in the sight of His ancients." 3
The prophet Jeremias thus says: “At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord : and all the nations shall be gathered together to it, in the name of the Lord to Jerusalem, and they 1 Isa. lx. 1-6.
Ib. lx. 11, 12. 3 Ib. xxiv. 23.
shall not walk after the perversity of their most wicked heart.” 1
The prophet Zacharias addresses Jerusalem in a similar strain : “Sing praise, and rejoice, O daughter of Sion : for behold I come, and I will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord. And many nations shall be joined to the Lord in that day, and they shall be my people, and I will dwell in the midst of thee : and thou shalt know that the Lord of Hosts hath sent Me to thee. And the Lord shall possess Juda, His portion in the sanctified land: and he shall yet choose Jerusalem. Let all flesh be silent at the presence of the Lord : for He is risen up out of His holy habitation.”? And in the eighth chapter the Lord thus speaks : “ Thus saith the Lord of hosts, I am returned to Sion, and I will dwell in the midst of Jerusalem ; and Jerusalem shall be called the city of truth, and the mountain of the Lord of hosts, the sanctified mountain. Thus saith the Lord of hosts : Behold, I will save my people from the land of the east, and from the land of the going down of the sun. And I will bring them, and they shall dwell in the midst of Jeru. salem : and they shall be my people, and I will be their God in truth and in justice. 3 And many peoples and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to entreat the face of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord of hosts : In those days ten men of all languages of the Gentiles shall take hold, and shall hold fast the skirt of one that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you;
for we have heard that God is with
And again, in the fourteenth chapter, the prophet thus speaks : “ The Lord my God shall I Jerem, iii. 17.
2 Zac. ii. 10–13. 3 Ib. viii. 3, 7, 8.
4 Ib. viii. 22, 23.