Thursday, May 16, 2024

Praying for the Conversion of the Jews

The Good Friday 'Intercessions' in 2023, in St Mary Moorfields, London.

In the Evening Prayer of the 1974 Liturgy of the Hours, on Easter Sunday and throughout its octave, and then again on the third and fifth Sundays of Eastertide, the Church prays,

"Let Israel recognize in you [Jesus] the Messiah it has longed for; fill all men with the knowledge of your glory."

The Church desires that Jesus of Nazareth be accepted as the longed for “Christ,” by “Israel”—Israel in the biblical sense, the Jewish people. This implies that they accept the Christian faith, in the context of the Church’s mission to “all men.”

Readers who have followed the debate surrounding the Good Friday Prayer for the Jews found in the pre-Vatican II 1962 Missal may find this surprising, but this is not an isolated case. Even more explicit prayers for the conversion of the Jewish people are found in the Liturgy of the Hours, in the Morning Prayer of December 31 and in Lauds on January 2, and the idea is raised elsewhere.

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