I remember watching filmstrips about the liberation of the concentration camps in Europe in elementary school in the early and mid-1960s. I thought that the Holocaust happened very long ago among heathen peoples. Looking back, I know what I saw had happened only a decade or so in the past. The heathens thought they were civilized, even superior, people.
Today is Yom HaShoah, the time to remember the Holocaust. It’s time for me to remember how many people who thought they were good Christians participated … actively or passively … in it. As the eyewitnesses leave this Earth, we must all remember and fight those who want to deny reality.
O God, we are conscious that many centuries of blindness have blinded our eyes so that we no longer see the beauty of your chosen people, nor recognize in their faces the features of our privileged brothers and sisters.
We realize that the mark of Cain stands upon our foreheads.
Across the centuries our brother Abel has lain in blood which we drew or which we caused to be shed by forgetting your love.
Forgive us for the curse we falsely attached to their name as Jews.
Forgive us for crucifying you a second time in their flesh.
God of Abraham and of Moses, we pray for the Jewish people, the first to hear your world.
As you have made them your own, so make them continue to grow in love of your name and in faithfulness to your covenant.
You are our God, living and reigning, for ever and ever. AmenCatholic Household Blessings and Prayers