Tuesday, April 3, 2012
On Good Friday, we will again be praying the special bidding prayers for that day, which include intercessions for the Church, the Pope, the Clergy and Laity, Those Preparing for Baptism, the Unity of Christians, the Jewish People, Those Who Do Not Believe in Christ, Those Who Do Not Believe in God, All in Public Office, and Those in Special Need.
The prayer For the Jewish People currently goes like this–
Let us pray
For the Jewish people,
The first to hear the word of God,
That they may continue to grow in the love of his name
And in faithfulness to his covenant.
Almighty and eternal God,
Long ago you gave your promise to Abraham and his posterity.
Listen to your Church as we pray
That the people you first made your own
May arrive at the fullness of redemption.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
–which is an improvement over what it said before it was changed in the 1950s by Pope John XVIII.
However, the current version, while no longer containing language accusing the Jews of faithlessness or perfidy, still presumes that God’s covenant with the Jews is somehow inferior, incomplete, or has been superseded. Of course, as limited, finite beings, we are not in a position to make such a judgment, nor does our scripture support it.
So what if we were to pray something like this instead?
Let us pray in thankfulness for the faithful perseverance of the Jewish people,
the first to hear the word of God,
that they may continue to grow in the love of his name
and in faithfulness to his covenant.
Let us pray for the Christian people,
that we repent of our attachment to the ancient enmities
from which so much needless suffering and misunderstanding have arisen.
Let us pray that all people of every faith remember
that understandings and images of God are incomplete and partial,
and that God alone is arbiter and judge of truth.
Let us pray simply for guidance to love one another as God has loved us.
–Baya Clare CSJ
Learn more about Christian Anti-Semitism:
…salvation is from the Jews.