The Prayer of the Church

"I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring."
The Prayer of the Church
The Lord commanded that Ishmael should be cast out. Lest He appear to have forgotten His former promise about the twelve princes (Genesis 17:20) and to repent of His plan, He repeats the promise and adds that He will do this for the sake of Abraham, whose descendant Ishmael is. Thus the natural son is indeed cast out. Nevertheless, he is established as a very powerful king of the world. Accordingly, someone will say: "Establishing him king of a very large people is not casting him out, is it?" For Ishmael's descendants occupied the entire southern region, and today the Saracens are still a great people. Thus this account serves to teach us that God allots kingdoms and governments even to reprobate and evil men, not because of their merit—which is nil—but for the sake of Abraham, that is, the Church, which alone in the world prays for kings and governments, in order that it may be able to have a quiet lodging place in this life and to propagate the Word of God in peace.
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