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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Director’s Reflection

Dear Companions on the Journey,

If you were to have the privilege of listening in on Jesus’ prayer to his Father, what do you imagine you might hear?  What were Jesus’ concerns?

Actually we don’t have to imagine it, for we have St. John’s memory of how Jesus prayed on the night before he died:

I ask not only on behalf of these [my disciples], but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one,I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17:20-23)”

As a way of fulfilling Jesus’ prayer, about a hundred years ago, a small group inaugurated the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, now observed by Christians around the world.  Each year, Christians from a different part of the globe select a theme to inform the week of prayer.  This year, Indonesians were invited to choose the theme, and they settled on “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue” (cf. Deuteronomy 16:20). It was chosen for its powerful message of promoting truth, equality and unity:

We do this in a world where corruption, greed and injustice bring about inequality and division. We are called together to form a united witness for justice and for Christian Unity that becomes a means of Christ’s healing grace for the brokenness of the world. Only by heeding Jesus’ prayer ‘that they all may be one’ can we witness to living unity in diversity.

Locally, we have a great opportunity to pray with our Christian neighbors from our downtown neighborhood: our Episcopalian brothers and sisters at the Cathedral of St. Paul; our United Church of Christ/Presbyterian brothers and sisters from the Church of the Covenant; and many others. Some of them have never prayed with Catholics before, and – I would wager – some of us Catholics have never prayed with Episcopalians, Presbyterians, United Church of Christ and others before!  Now’s the time, as Jesus yearned so passionately on the night before he died.

When? 7pm, Saturday, January 19th (for about an hour). Where? Cathedral of St. Paul (138 Tremont Street, just down the street from the Paulist Center).
Join us for this annual moment of stretching beyond our local community!

What do you think?
And let us pray for/with one another.
The Paulist Center