After having heard the testimony of Roy Schoemann, we want to add two questions that we posed to him in the framework of the interview, which was recorded in Jerusalem.
Tomorrow we will then reflect about what we have heard during the last three days. Hopefully the Lord will let us receive good fruits and spiritual benefit from this theme!
Mr. Schoeman, I would like to ask you a question. You are Jew and a member of the Catholic Church. Are you still looking to yourself as a Jew?
I consider myself as a Jew in the Catholic Church. I was Jewish before I became a follower of the Jewish Messiah. Why would I no longer be a Jew by following the Jewish Messiah? On the contrary, this makes me more Jewish than ever!
I did not change religion. The religion was transformed with the greatest event that ever happened in Creation: the Incarnation of the Second Person of the most Holy Trinity as a man, and that event resulted in the transformation of Judaism into the Catholic Church.
Let us look at the Last Supper: It was simultaneously a sacramental Jewish Passover Seder and the first Catholic Mass. You can look at it as the point in time when sacramental Judaism was transformed into sacramental Catholicism. So, it is not I who changed my religion; it is the religion that changed.
What can we do as Christians for our elder brothers?
Pray that they become receivers of the same gift that they brought to the rest of mankind. There are several reasons why I think Catholics should pray for the conversion of the Jews:
One is that we know how dear this is for Jesus´ and Mary´s heart!
We are right now in Jerusalem! Just yesterday I was at “Dominus Flevit”, where Jesus wept over Jerusalem:
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, how often I would have gathered you under my wings like a mother hen gathers her chicks, but you refused! (Mt 23,37)”
It is obvious that the love of the Jewish people is very important for Jesus.
That is one reason.
Another reason is simple justice:
It is thanks to the Jews that the whole rest of the world received the gift of Jesus.
We know from St. Paul that, through the intercession of the gentiles, the Jews will receive the gift of Jesus. I´ll just read some verses from Romans 11:
“Just as you were once disobedient to God, but have now received mercy because of their disobedience, so they have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you, they also may receive mercy.”
The Jews are in a period of disobedience, so that thanks to the mercy granted to the Gentiles, who now make up the Church, the Jews may receive mercy. As the Church flowed to the Gentile-world from the Jews, so now the Church has to flow from the Gentile-world to the Jews.
In other words, it is going to be the prayers of the Gentile-world, which will bring the Jews into the Church.
And the third reason why I think the Catholics should pray for the conversion of the Jews is reflected in the new Catechism of the Catholic Church. Paragraph 674 says:
„The glorious Messiah coming is suspended at every moment of history until His recognition by all Israel”.
In other words: the Second Coming cannot happen until there is a widespread conversion of the Jews. So, there are three very good reasons, why I think that the Catholic Church should be praying for the conversion of the Jews.
To be fair, there is also another reason:
There is no greater gift for any human being than the relationship between man and God, which is only made possible through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church and the truth of all the important questions about man and God, which is only made clear through the teaching of the Catholic Church.
So it is the duty of everyone who received the gift of the Catholic Church, to share that gift with anyone who does not have it, including the Jews.
We all know the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk 16,19–31). The rich man, who is feasting at the table, piled high with food every day, and there was Lazarus dying of starvation outside the door. We know what happened with the rich man after he died.
Very often this parable is thought in the terms of the wealth of this world, but it is at least as true in a spiritual context.
It is the Catholic who is the rich man feasting at the table every day, and everybody else is dying of starvation outside the door.
We are all going to die and to face the judgement in the presence of Jesus, and we will be responsible for not sharing this wealth. So, if only for selfish-reasons, every Catholic should care about the evangelization of everyone else.