"Queen Esther, seized with mortal anguish, had recourse to the Lord. She lay prostrate upon the ground, together with her handmaids, from morning until evening, and said: 'God of Abraham, God of Isaac, and God of Jacob, blessed are you. Help me, who am alone and have no help but you, for I am taking my life in my hand. As a child I used to hear from the books of my forefathers that you, O Lord, always free those who are pleasing to you. Now help me, who am alone and have no one but you, O Lord, my God.
And now, come to help me, an orphan. Put in my mouth persuasive words in the presence of the lion and turn his heart to hatred for our enemy, so that he and those who are in league with him may perish. Save us from the hand of our enemies; turn our mourning into gladness and our sorrows into wholeness.' "
Then I discovered that today is the Fast of Esther. Well!
(Esther before Ahasuerus, by Artemisia Gentileschi)
Here is a prayer said in Catholic churches on the night before Easter -
Recalling our spiritual roots in biblical Israel
and remembering that Jesus was an authentic son of Israel,
we pray in a special way for the Jewish people
our elder brothers and sisters in covenant with God.
May our peoples be a blessing for each other and for the whole world.
(adapted from the Easter Vigil service)