Letter to the Romans
Why have the Jews not believed?
1 I tell you sincerely in Christ, and my conscience assures me in the Holy Spirit that I am not lying: 2 I have great sadness and constant anguish for the Jews. 3 I would even desire that I myself suffer the curse of being cut off from Christ, instead of my brethren: I mean my own people, my kin. 4 They are Israelites whom God adopted, and on them rests his Glory. Theirs are the covenants, the Law, the worship and the promises of God. 5 They are descendants of the Patriarchs and from their race Christ was born, he who as God is above all distinctions. Blessed be He forever and ever: Amen!
6 We cannot say that the promise of God has failed. For not all Israelites belong to Israel. 7 And not because they are of the race of Abraham are they all his children, for it was said to him: The children of Isaac will be called your descend ants. 8 This means that the children of God are not identified with the race of Abraham, but only with the children born to him because of the promise of God. 9 To such a promise this text refers: I shall return about this time and Sarah will have a son. 10 And listen: Rebecca, the wife of our father Isaac, became pregnant, 11 and before the twins were born, or had done anything right or wrong, in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, 12 not on the merits but of who is called, she was told: The elder will serve the younger, 13 as the Scripture says: I chose Jacob and rejected Esau.
God is not unjust
14 Shall we say that God is unjust? Of course not. 15 However God said to Moses: I shall forgive whom I forgive and have pity on whom I have pity. 16 So what is important is not that we worry or hurry, but that God has com passion. 17 And he says in Scripture to Pha raoh: I made you Pharaoh to show my power in you, and for the whole world to know my name. 18 And so God takes pity on whom he wishes, and hardens the heart of whom soever he wishes.
19 Maybe you say: “Why then does God complain, if it is impossible to evade his decision?” 20 But you, my friend, who are you to call God to ac count? Should the clay pot say to its maker: Why did you make me like this? 21 Is it not up to the potter to make from the same clay a vessel for beauty and a vessel for menial use?
22 Thus God endures very patiently vessels that deserve his wrath, fit to be broken, and through them he wants to show his wrath and the extent of his power. 23 But he also wants to show the riches of his Glory in others, in vessels of mercy prepared for glory. 24 And he called us, not only from among the Jews, but from among the pagans, too, 25 as he said through the prophet Hosea: I will call “my people” those that were not my people, and “my beloved” the one who was not beloved. 26 And in the same place where they were told: “You are not my people,” they will be called children of the living God.
27 With regard to Israel, Isaiah proclaims: Even if the Israelites are as numerous as the sand of the sea, only a few will be saved. 28 This is a matter that the Lord will settle in Israel without fail or delay. 29 Isaiah also announced: If the Almighty Lord had not left us some descendants, we would have become like Sodom and similar to Gomorrah.
30 What are we saying, then? That the pagans who were not aiming at true righteousness found it (I speak of righteousness through faith); 31 while Israel, striving to observe a law of righteousness, lost the purpose of the Law. 32 Why? Because they relied on the observance of the Law, not on faith. And they stumbled over the stumbling stone (Christ), 33 as it was said: Look, I am laying in Zion a stone that will make people stumble, a rock that will make them fall; but whoever relies on him will not be deceived.