Service for Unity, in connection with the Jewish people
Thursday, February 2, 2023
The Jewish roots of Christianity
Following the Second Vatican Council, little by little and without losing any of its originality, the Church is becoming aware that it is all the more verdant because it lives from its Jewish roots. For the Church, the permanence of the Jewish people does not only imply a matter of external relationship that must be improved, but also an internal concern which relates to its own definition. Is not this relationship, which can only be experienced as a serene tension, one of the elements of the dynamism of salvation history? As in the parable, it reminds us that neither of the two sons can seize the whole of the inheritance: each one, without jealousy, is a witness for the other of the Father’s freely-given mercy.
But those who advocate dialogue between the sons of Abraham are no less right. The reflection proposed here on the Jewish roots of Christianity aims to remind us of the election of the people of Israel and the condescension of God. This reflection does not innovate, but is part of a long tradition, for from the third century, Origen was already familiar with the Jewish reading of the Song of Songs, and Jerome, in the following century, was in dialogue with Rabbi Bar Hanina of Bethlehem. If to ignore the Scriptures is to ignore Christ, then to ignore the Jewish roots of Christianity is to expose the temptation of Marcion who opposed the God of the first Testament to that of the new. The Church is sustained by its roots.
(To be adapted according to each place)
R. Amen, amen, blessed be the God of Israel
Or another chorus.
1.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
you who mourned because of the violence between Cain and Abel,
–we pray to you for peace in the Holy Land, this land where you have chosen to come and join us in our humanity
2.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
you who made possible the reconciliation between Joseph and his brothers,
-for any contempt for your people Israel, forgive us
-we pray to you, Father, to make fraternity grow between the Jewish people and the nations.
3.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
you who brought Israel out of Egypt and made your people free,
-give your joy to the Jewish people, and keep them faithful to your covenant.
4.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
you who united the twelve tribes of Israel around the Torah,
-give peace to the Jews who believe in Jesus.
5.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
you who sent your Son Jesus to save us,
-pour out your blessing on Christians who are of Jewish descent.
6.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
Father of Jesus Christ,
–bring together in unity all Christian churches.
7.Loving Father, God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
– you have given the Jewish people the promise of the coming of the Messiah,
– you have given the Church the expectation of the expectation of your son’s return.
– in the Holy Spirit we say with the whole Church: “Maranatha, come Lord”.