The Answer to all Mysteries of the Faith is in Scripture and Tradition
The answer to all mysteries of history must lie within the already extant Deposit of Faith. That is, for example, the Fundamentalists are crazy and short-sighted when they think that the “mystery of iniquity” has to do with some secret societies or such. The mystery of iniquity should really be the mystery of all sin itself, and therefore, of all HISTORY itself, since sin is present at the outset of history, and throughout, until the end. Hence, the mystery should be nothing short of the full implications, reasons, and meaning of God’s Plan to redeem the world to its fullest potential from the beginning to the end of the world.
Consequently, the forthcoming predestined conversion of the Jews en-masse that will occur in the times of the end must also have its derivative reasons for happening somehow veiled in the self-same Scripture and Tradition, since there are no other sources of Revelation other than Scripture and Tradition, saving the Magisterium, which simply compiles and interprets them. This would force us to conclude that the mystery of Jewish conversion must be present in one or more ANALOGIES from the Deposit. But where?
In pondering the meaning of the ages for many years now, I believe with all my heart that the key to unlocking this mystery is none other than Resurrection scenes themselves in Scripture. Sound crazy? Come along and see.
Christ’s Old Body is the Old Law, the New Body, the New Law
The primary argumentation is as follows: Christ’s Old Body and events of the Gospel before the Resurrection filled up and fulfilled all that is of the Old Covenant, the Laws, the history. At the Cross, His Body, and thereby all things Old, were put to death and abolished. BUT, through the Resurrection, rather than totally and radically different, the Old Law came to life again in the New Resurrected Body of Christ. This Body did not destroy all things old utterly but transformed them into elements of the New, elements that now truly redeem and matter. Therefore, the New Body of Christ is like the Old Body in many ways, but also different. And that means, it is not, at first glance, completely recognizable!
This perfectly images the Jewish relationship to Christ in the history of the Church. In the beginning, the Jews see hardly anything in Christ that they can recognize, since they have clung so hard to the Old Law. Progressively, however, as more of the New Law comes into focus, the Jews grow closer to Christ, while yet being unable to fully recognize Him until the final phase of Church history, the Great Apostasy and Antichrist.
Christ Could not Convert the Jews by Himself, but Christ Will Through the Church
Therefore, if all of the Old Covenant is fulfilled in Christ, then too, its history. Hence, some Gospel details, at various junctures, fulfill Old Testament history of the Jews . But the Church is the mystical Body of Christ! Hence, too, the Church must fill up the whole Old Covenant history itself. But, then, this is surely what will convert the Jews, for if Christ filled up all things in them in Himself, and yet they have not believed, how much more will it be necessary for the Jews to see these things filled up in the Body of Christ, the Church, in order to believe. Hence, what is lacking in the sufferings of Christ is filled up in Christ’s Body the Church! That is, what Christ could not do with His Body (convert the Jews), the Church will attain with Her Body (“And you shall do greater works than these”)!
The New Covenant is Similar but Different from the Old, just as Jesus’ New Body is Similar but Different from the Old
Now, here, we can once again ask ourselves: is the New Covenant utterly disjoint and unrecognizable from the Old? NO! For, in fact, some elements of the Old remain, namely, amongst possibly other things, the base principles of the Law that Christ called out repeatedly to those who petitioned Him, what commandments are most important (Love the Lord your God with your whole being, and your neighbor as yourself). Hence, effectively, sparing certain disciplinary issues (eg, the Sabbath), the Decalogue is still in force.
Also, whereas most of the other elements are no longer binding in and of themselves (disciplinary or ceremonial aspects and laws), they all have been fulfilled, or elevated, to new forms that bear some resemblance to the old but have been transformed spiritually!
BUT THIS IS THE VERY THING WE SEE IN THE RESURRECTED BODY OF CHRIST! THE RESURRECTED BODY OF CHRIST IS NOT UTTERLY DISCONNECTED FROM THE OLD BODY OF CHRIST! IT IS THE SAME BODY BUT SIMPLY TRANSFIGURED AND ELEVATED! BUT PRECISELY BECAUSE IT HAS TRANSFORMED ELEMENTS AND CHARACTERISTICS, IT IS TO SOME DEGREE DIFFERENT FROM THE OLD BODY AND THEREFORE, AT LEAST INITIALLY, HARD TO RECOGNIZE!
Failure of the Disciples to Recognize the Risen Christ Images Failure of the Jews to Recognize the Christ as Messiah
Hence, the failure of the disciples to fully recognize the Christ in the beginning becomes a perfect metaphor for the Jewish People’s failure to recognize the Christ as Messiah, Who, as that very Messiah, has taken the Old Law and transformed it into the New Law, the newway, which the People of Old do not understand, since they cling to the Old Law.
St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb
Now to graduate to concrete examples: firstly, St Mary Magdalene at the Tomb.
We all know the story: Jesus speaks to Mary three times, and progressively she recognizes Him.
More specifically, in a first instance, St. Mary Magdalene’s inability to recognize Jesus at the tomb, secondly, her progressive hope in Christ, and thirdly, the final culmination of recognizing Him at the utterance of Jesus, “Mary!”, can be an image of the Jewish relationship to the Messiah in the entire course of the history of the Church.
This would imply, since there are three exchanges, like the three days of Jesus in the Tomb, three chapters of Jewish history during the Church: early Church, intermediate Church, and final Church history.
At each junction, the Savior, the Messiah, is appealing to the weeping Woman, His bride:
Messiah: “Woman, why do you weep?”
Mary:“They have taken my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him!”
People of Old: “The Messiah was supposed to be here. The Messiah was supposed to have come. We had the prophecies, the times, but He is not here. He did not come. We do not where He is!”
This can be the first phase of Church history, the purgative way. In this first phase, pagan Rome, the Jews knew through prophecy, especially Daniel, that the Messiah was supposed to have come, and He did not. Their situation is hopeless, and their relationship to Jesus and the Christians is one of hostility and enmity. Christ is not on the radar map at this time.
Messiah: ”Woman, why do you weep?”
Mary: “Sir, if you know where they have taken Him, then please tell me in order that I may go and anoint Him.”
People of Old: “Sir, we still do not recognize you as Our Savior. But perhaps you are a person [the gardener] who can help us FIND the Messiah, FIND where they have LAID HIM!”
To progress, most fully approved private revelation suggests that we are at an intermediate juncture of Church history, a certain dark night of the soul. The modern godless crisis will give way to a great renewal, even if it requires a chastisement of epic proportions. This renewal will bring the fullness of the Gentiles, a near worldwide Catholic civilization of love, the Triumph of Our Lady of Fatima’s Heart.
Too, the Jewish history has taken a positive turn: a great portion of the Jewish people now have repossession of the Holy Land that they had lost so many centuries ago by the Divine chastisement of Temple destruction and diaspora, which was an allowed consequence of the Jewish inability to recognize the coming of their Savior.
Too, Jewish/Christian relations are renewed. Jews still do not recognize Christ as their Messiah; they do not fully recognize the Risen Savior who still stands before them apocalyptically as they continue to weep that they do not know where the Savior is. But, many now regard Christ as a good man who can help them find the Savior, as it were (the gardener?). In fact, in the wake of the incomprehensible horrors of the Holocaust, the Church has reached out to Her elder brethren in friendship, filial affection, and respect. (Popes visiting synagogues and such, unheard of for centuries)
Technically, Her call to the Jewish People for conversion has not truly been abrogated as some well-meaning individuals with a very understandable but misguided compassion may insinuate, but neither does the Church look upon her beloved seed of God’s Covenant with condemnation, knowing that the Jewish People are not yet fully culpable historically for conversion to the Gospel, and that, leaving the case of any individual Jewish person to that person and the mercy of God, we realize that, first of all, the mystery of a person’s conscience carries with it its limited, complex experiences both in positive and negative dimensions, secondly, that in the end, one can be saved by the implicit desire for Baptism—which, at the end of the day is simply, “Lord, show me the way; Lord, help me follow the way”—and finally, remembering that the Father in the great parable does not condemn the older son in his understandable jealousy at the return of the converted, reprobate younger son (the Jewish jealously toward the Gentiles, who once spit in God’s face but now enjoy mercy from the Gospel) but only pleads with the older to come into the house and celebrate the redemption of his younger brother!
Hence, the intermediate scene between Jesus and Mary Magdalene can be our second, intermediate phase of Church history, the dark night of the soul:
People of Old and Mary: “Rabboni!”
Finally, at the end of the world, the ultimate déjà vu enters in, withthe New Testament Antichrist—the final history of the Church before the Second Coming of Christ—fulfilling Old Testament Antichrist, Antiochus IV Epiphanies—the final history of the Jews before the First Coming of Christ—bringing the ultimate spiritual victory: the opening of the eyes of the Jews.
The People of God Journey the Way of the Saint Historically, Old and New
Now, we have to ask, from where does all of this come, that is, associating the ages of the Church to the way of the Saint? Well, let us explore it.
To start, let us consider the real reasons behind Jewish unbelief: the central error of the Jewish people is that they fail to recognize that all that truly matters are the things of the heart, or inner renewal. Hence, their conversion hinges on the ability to recognize that only spiritual conversion matters, and not external realities. Yet, we will momentarily see that the process of inner renewal is completely journeyed in their major history. In other words: The very key to their eyes being opened is present in their overall, three-stage historical journey with God!
More specifically, a case can be made that the Three Stages, or Ways, of the saint--the purgative, the illuminative and unitive--are in fact just a microcosmic example of the historical way of an entire People, of Old and New. In other words, it can be shown that both Peoples of Old and New, respectively, that is, the Jews before Christ, and the Church after Christ, journey a macro form of the ways of the saint in the major spiritual phases of their history, from inception to the respective Coming of Christ.
In light of this, we now observe that Christ fulfilled in His Flesh their entire journey: threes! For three days and three nights, Jesus lingered in the earth before rising. On the third day He arose from the dead, in accordance with the Scriptures. Christ fell three times in the way of the cross. Christ progressively prayed three times in the Garden to accept the Will of His Father for the Passion. Three times Peter denied Christ, and three times He was reconciled (Peter do you love me.) Three times, Jesus spoke to Mary Magdelene at the tomb to open her eyes. For three days and three nights, Mother Mary and St Joseph looked for the Christ before finding Him in the Temple.
All these types filled up the three phases of the Jewish People, yet they have not believed. Hence, what other option is there, as we have just argued earlier, (No other sign shall be given unto this generation except the sign of Jonas), except that what will enable the Jews to convert is to see the same three stage process filled up in the flesh of the Body of Christ, His Church. Hence, as the Church herself journeys the same three-fold path of renewal, fulfilling the same OT history of the Jews in a spiritual sense, the Jews shall progressively recognize this renewal, so that, in the climax of NT Antichrist, fulfilling Antiochus, the OT Antichrist, the Jewish People shall exclaim with St. Mary Magdalene, Rabboni, which means, Teacher!
Now, what might these ages be? For greater reference, see Jewish Conversion. A summary follows:
The Purgative Way: The flesh of the dark night of the senses is fulfilled historically in the world and its tendencies. For no sooner does God form the Covenant People, than that they shall flourish. But the spirit of the world, driven according to pride and selfish ambition, sees the blessings upon God's children as a threat to their material dominion, and so naturally reacts against them, which is to say, to either oppress them or persecute them. Hence, the Church had pagan Rome, the Jews had Egypt
The Illuminative Way: The saint eventually conquers the greater resistance of the flesh, his greater sinful tendencies being overcome and cast out, so the oppression and/or persecution of the world on God's People ends, and the People of God are freed or delivered from the more severe sting of the world's resistance. The OT fulfillment of this was the deliverance of the Jews in the Exodus. The NT fulfillment was the conquering of Christianity over pagan Rome, which eventually transformed the continent of Europe into a Catholic civilization.
Hence do the People of God enter the Illuminative Way, which is to say, the development of the contemplation of the Divine Revelation of the Covenant. For the OT, this is the Old Law and the Age of the Prophets, who develop the application of the Law unto the Prefigured People, who grow in intimacy with God. In the NT, it is the doctrinal development of the Church, where she contemplates the Deposit of Faith more deeply, and draws forth the fuller implications of what Christ and the Apostles left Her.
The dark night of the soul awaits: the outside world becomes colder to the depths of the Saint's intimacy in truth with God, so that darkness in various punctuated manifestations progresses toward the dark night of the soul, when the whole Deposit of Revelation seems a lie, that the Divine Consolation is utterly taken away.
In the Old Testament, it is the prophets who are the just, whose intimacy in depth of the Law grows with God, while the Jews on the outside of them grow colder and more deaf to the imploring of the prophets. Finally, just before the vindication of their Revelation, there is the dark night, when all the Jews scoff at the righteous preachers of the Old Law, holding in contempt the totality of their witness.
In the New Testament, it is the just of the Church herself, especially the Magisterium, that fulfills the role of the saint. For, as the Church develops the Deposit through the Ecumenical councils and constant teaching of the Ordinary Magisterium, so the outside Gentiles grow harsher in their relationship, progressively rejecting more of the Deposit of Faith, becoming ever more in the spirit of apostasy. Effectively, this has been the last 500 years: Protestantism (only Scripture and Reason), Enlightenment and Age of solo-Ratio (only Reason), and Secular Apostasy (not even Reason, total darkness).
The Unitive Way: The Church is soon to have a tribulation that will convert the outer world and restore them to love of God; Catholic Christendom will be rebuilt. Mankind will walk in love and peace, just like the saint in the unitive way walks every step with God. Too, the Jews had the chastisement of the Babylonian Exile, which converted them back to God, and they were restored to their land of refuge and rebuilt the literal House of God, the Temple. Finally, the Church will have an apocalyptic martyrdom--like the saint’s final union with God usually is martyrdom, whether literal or of the bed—where Antichrist shall come, along with ultimate persecution, ultimate martyrdom. This shall give way to a new age, the Second Coming just as the saint enters the new age, heaven. Too, the Jews followed suit: they had an Antichrist in the final night of Maccabees, Antiochus, with terrible martyrdom and persecution, followed by the threshold of the FIRST Coming of Christ.
So it is that the People of both Old and New walk the path of the saint.
The Conversion of the Jews: How?
Why, then, will the Jews convert at the end? Let us explore it deeper. Here, a totally common sense suggestion is in order.
In brief, the Prefiguring Covenant uses material pictures of what really matters, inner renewal, to point to their fulfillments, in part because, humanity in infancy is still very much attached to the material order and needs images before abstractions, much like the child must learn through the same illustrations before they graduate to written word without visual aid.
And yet, we see, these "pictures" in this Prefiguring Covenant are not salvific of their own sense; they only point to what is salvific. Examples: the literal Holy Land of Israel is not an end unto itself, in that, it only points to the true land of fulfillment, the spiritual Kingdom of God in the NT, the Church, and, ultimately, heaven. The literal lamb of sacrifice for Passover is not a true, intrinsic atonement. Only God Himself, taking on flesh and suffering in it, the spiritual Lamb of God, is the true atonement. God heals the People from literal serpent bites in the desert, but in the New Covenant, he heals the People of God from the spiritual serpent's bite, sin!
And so, we anticipate in any material world, when God Incarnates Himself to the Prefiguring People, and unfolds these new mysteries, it is insulting and wounding to the Prefiguring People.
"You mean that you only gave us pictures? We are only a Seed People, as prelude to men of allnations? And all this time, you have told us of your Unicity as One God, and now you tell us there is Family of Persons in Your One Nature to Exist? And that One Divine Person has become God? You have told us you are only One, and that no man can become God! Blasphemy, we cannot take it!"
Hence, the Prefiguring People remain attached to the pictures, and reject the fulfillment. Hence, they fail to see what the pictures pointed to: From physical blessings, to spiritual renewal. In the end, even if you are in a physical land of milk and honey, only the spiritual ecstasy of heaven, the eternal milk and honey that flows from God Himself, can satiate your desire.
In the end, it is not that a particular animal is unclean, it is rather that you must not partake of the what is spiritually unclean. In the end, no mere animal, which can neither suffer insult nor spiritual pain that you cause Me, can atone for what is infinitely offensive to priceless human dignity, and immeasurable love! Hence, only I, your Maker, can make up for your sin.
And so, again, it is the inner renewal of grace, of inner purity, that makes a man pleasing to God, not external.
And yet!!!, The People of Prefiguring still walked by grace, hence, they did, historically journey in holiness, in grace, the spiritual path of the saint. Hence, within their very history, the seed of the mystery exists.
And this spiritual historical path has three phases! And where have we seen three? Are not three’s all over the Gospels?! And Jesus fills up these three’s so many times in His Life and Death and Resurrection!
Jesus fulfilled in His Flesh their entire journey: threes! Again, to repeat, for three days and three nights, Jesus lingered in the earth before rising. On the third day He arose from the dead, in accordance with the Scriptures. Christ fell three times in the way of the cross. Christ progressively prayed three times in the Garden to accept the Will of His Father for the Passion. Three times Peter denied Christ, and three times He was reconciled (Peter do you love me.) Three times, Jesus spoke to Mary Magdelene at the tomb to open her eyes. For three days and three nights, Mother Mary and St. Joseph looked for the Christ before finding Him in the Temple.
Yet, seeing so many of their details and journey fulfilled in Christ’s Flesh, the Jews are not able to see it. So then, what other options are for the Jews to see the mystery of their spiritual journey? How about none other than the mystical Body of Christ, the Church!
Yes! The People of New, of Incarnate One, the People of Jesus, walk this spiritual path, too! They fill up in their flesh what is lacking in the suffering of Christ! For the sufferings and life of Jesus in His individual Body could not attain the opening of the eyes of the Jews, but the mystical Body of Christ will!
And hence, the farther the People of Incarnate One, of New, journey in this path, the more the Prefiguring People recognize a sign of the their spiritual stages before Jesus. And, then, reaching the apex in NT martyrdom of NT Antichrist, fulfilling OT Antichrist Antiochus, they see the ultimate deja vu, and accept the Gospel!
The Road to Emmaus: Image of the Jewish Failure to Recognize Christ as Messiah?
For another incredible support of this theology in addition to Mary Magdalene, the Disciples on the Road to Emmaus are perfect. They do not recognize Jesus at first. But as Jesus unfolds to them how He fulfilled all the law and prophets, their hearts progressively burned. Of course, in the ultimate Eucharist, their eyes are opened, the separation of the Body and Blood of Christ. Too, can we not see the Church journeying alongside the Jews—the Risen Christ imaging the Church and the New Mystical Body of Christ, which embodies the elements of Old transformed and renewed into the New Testament fulfillments, and the disciples on the road to Emmaus imaging the Jews, who, as of yet, do not recognize their New Savior--and showing how She is progressively fulfilling the law and prophets in her history, even as Jesus is opening up to the disciples how He fulfilled all the Old Testament in His self! Progressively, too, the Jews' hearts burn with fervor as they recognize more and more the history of their covenant in a spiritual form being filled up in the Gentiles and the Catholic Church. Finally, at the apex, when the Body and Blood of the Church is poured out and separated in the Martyrdom of Antichrist, fulfilling the Eucharistic Passion of Our Lord, and fulfilling the outpouring of the Jewish blood in the Maccabean persecution, the eyes of the Jews are opened: "Were not our hearts burning within us!"