January 17

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
January 18 – 25

Reflection

Tomorrow begins the week of prayer for Christian Unity. Since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has sought dialogue with other Christian world communions. It is an effort to overcome the doctrinal divisions of the past and to find a common voice for the future. The temptation is always there to speak unilaterally about a wide range of issues. Yet, the points of difference should be tempered by the commandment to love one another. This love is most directly symbolized in praying together. That is the purpose of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The call to prayer supersedes division. Prayer is worship of God not of position papers. Prayer helps us to remember that our theological differences do not supersede our connection as brothers and sisters in Christ. This is the beginning of union and mutual understanding.

Prayer

That all may be one.

Action

Meditate on the call of Jesus to his followers to live in unity of love and service.
Reflect on your own religious beliefs and your willingness to be open to the views of others.

Suggested Reading

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:20-21

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 15:5-6

I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.
Matthew 18:19-20

With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.
Mark 10:27

God is spirit, and God’s worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.
John 4:24

In order to unite with one another, we must love one another, we must know one another; in order to know one another, we must go and meet one another.
Cardinal Mercier

Since many of you do not belong to the Catholic Church and others are non-believers, from the bottom of my heart I give this silent blessing to each and every one of you, respecting the conscience of each one of you but knowing that each one of you is a child of God.
Pope Francis

I believe in God – not in a Catholic God; there is no Catholic God. There is God, and I believe in Jesus Christ, his incarnation. Jesus is my teacher and my pastor, but God, the Father, Abba, is the light and the Creator. This is my Being.
Pope Francis

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