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Updated: Oct 9

A prayer for those injured and dead from Antisemitism.

A Promise of the Lord is Forever

Your Covenant of old, Lord, is for a people of your choosing;

You chose a rainbow to encircle us all, their wellbeing falling

Under the sky’s embrace, and then you called Abram, calling

Him Abraham and you gave him a son, Isaac, a son of old age.

You planted a tree in heaven and its boughs bent low, trailing

Through time, altogether like a vine, pruned and flourishing in

The place you planted it, growing grapes for wine and wine for

Celebrating the gift of being son and a covenant in the flesh.

At the time of slavery, you made a sign of the lamb’s blood

Over the door, making ready to leave with unleavened bread,

Giving the lead to your servant, Moses, fashioning a memorial,

More than a memory, more like living the passing to freedom.

And you sent prophets to say that the wisdom of the Covenant

Lies within a circumcision of the heart, welcoming your love with

A broken heart, reaping your help to be free from falsehoods and

Ready to recall the great deeds of the Passover from slavery to life.

You promise, Lord, is from the very beginning and you fashioned

Your people from the weakest of nations, embroiled in captivity

And groaning, delivering them again and again from enemies,

Making them the everlasting heir of your promises and gifts.

So today, let us recall, again and again, that the Old Covenant of Old,

Lord, is forever new, ever to be recalled and lived afresh each day,

Never forgetting the great deeds now past, but hoping, always, in the

Significance of “today”: that your people are always and ever will be

An ever-present sign of your presence among the nations of the earth.

And now you have founded a New Covenant on your Son, beginning

A second stream, swelling up from the root of the first, rising ever

Rising to rain your mercy afresh upon the far-flung peoples of whole

World, watering reconciliation between the Old and the New growth.

And, if it seems for a while that injury and death comes upon them,

You know every hair on their head, every breath breathed, every sigh

Heard, every man, woman and child who sits, stands and walks in Your

Way, and every prayer, prayed, and multiplied in holy heaven.

But if, Lord, there are wounds, new and old, so your gift of new gifts,

Graces, now and onwards, bring together the Old and New Covenant,.

So, Lord, let your mercy refresh the people you love, old and young,

Ever in your company and the company of the Mother of your Son,

A Son and daughter of the people of Old, ever welcoming those who

Welcome you now, showing forth the meeting of mercy and justice

In the forgiveness of sins, passing through the Crucifixion, your only

Son’s outstretched, open arms, fixed in welcome, grant to all who ask,

As He asked, that you turn to the sinner who turns to you, pouring the

Resurrection from your Son’s abundant love to the very end of death.

Oh Most High, listen to your heavenly court, ever open to the company,

new and old, of your children, as they plead for the people Of your

promise, young and old, imploring afresh your Holy Spirit to

Guide and correct, chastise and encourage, all who are coming to you.

by Francis Etheredge, author of 17 books (13 published, 3 to be published

and 1 in progress):

A Prayer to Prevent Antisemitism

Lord God, through the covenant you established with the Jewish People, we Christians have been grafted into this covenantal tradition according to St. Paul.  But very often throughout history, we have shown ourselves ungrateful for this gift given us through Jesus who imbued in his teachings this Jewish covenantal tradition through acts of antisemitism.  We join with Popes St. John Paul II and Francis in confessing our sins of antisemitism past and present.  Through this prayer, we commit ourselves to the elimination of any remaining anti-Semitic teachings in the Catholic community and pledge to add our public voice in denouncing any manifestations of antisemitism in contemporary society. We ask your blessing so that we may have the strength to fulfill this pledge we make in your presence.

by John T. Pawlikowski, OSM, Profiles in Catholicism

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