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Second Exodus is no ordinary book. It is the profession of the Catholic faith by an ardent convert from Judaism. Martin Barrack, the author, is so enamored of his discovery that Jesus is the Messiah that he wants to share this treasure with others, especially his fellow Israelites. Like the early disciples of the Master who first met Jesus and hurried to tell their friends, so Barrack is eager to share his find with those who are willing to listen.
There is no such thing as an “ordinary” convert story. Second Exodus is even more exceptional. It is at once an autobiography and a carefully written synthesis of the Catholic faith. But the autobiography is not so much a collection of personal details as the carefully thought-out reflections of a fervent follower of Christ.
Barrack loves his own Jewish people. He identifies himself with them in every page. Yet all the while he is zealous to share with them what he knows they most need: the One whom the prophets foretold as the Savior, not only of Israel but of the whole human race.
Barrack sees God choosing the Jews to fulfill a mission unique in recorded history. “Cultural evolution alone,” he explains, “could never account for the great Jewish odyssey across the centuries.” Alone among the nations of the world, the Jews have remained what they have been for almost four thousand years. Yet, again unique in human civilization, from their ranks came Jesus of Nazareth whose life, death and resurrection have divided world history into BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini, In the Year of the Lord).
To be stressed, the author insists, is that “Jesus came into the world as a Jew, went to shabat services, wore the traditional kippah and tallit, and selected all Jewish apostles. He told the Samaritan woman, Jn 4:22 “Salvation is from the Jews.” Paul wrote to the Romans, Rom 9:4-5 “They are Israelites and to them belong the sonship, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship and the Ďpromisesí; to them belong the patriarchs and of their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever.”
What Barrack sees in all this is more than most Christians realize. He sees the Jews as still, mysteriously, a chosen people who have a major role to play in the spread of Christianity. He is heartened by the high respect for the Jews shown by the II Vatican Council. He sees that “Jewish converts to the Catholic faith are considered special, with deep roots in the Hebrew Scriptures from which came the foundations of the Catholic Church.”
Running as a theme through Second Exodus is the unspoken conviction that todayís converts from Judaism are unique. Not unlike St. Paul, they see themselves as chosen vessels of Godís providence to proclaim the Gospel to the nations.
This volume by Martin Barrack deserves wide circulation. It is at once a path to glory and a tribute to Godís grace. It reveals the depths of an intelligent faith that wants to share its belief with others, both Jews and Gentiles who have not yet discovered that there is only one name under heaven by which we can be saved, the name of Jesus, and only one religious body that has the fullness of Godís revealed truths, the Roman Catholic Church.
Copyright © 1999-2010 Martin K Barrack. All rights reserved.