Next week is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This has been an ecumenical tradition since 1908 and is celebrated every year from 18-25 January in the Northern Hemisphere or around the feast of Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere. It is sponsored jointly by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order.
The theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2022 was chosen by the Middle East Council of Churches, originating with the churches in Lebanon: “We saw the star in the east and came to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:2). “The Magi reveal to us the unity of all nations desired by God,” the Council writes in its introduction to this year’s Week of Prayer. “They travel from far-off countries, and represent diverse cultures, yet they are driven by the same hunger to see and know the newborn king and are gathered into the little house in Bethlehem in the simple act of giving homage and offering gifts.”
We ought to be pained by the lack of unity in the Church Universal, in the Body of Christ. After all, as Saint Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians (4:4-6), “there is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.” During this week and beyond it, let us pray that Jesus, by His gracious love, make this oneness a reality for us. May we show a special love for all of our Sisters and Brothers in Christ.
Let us pray:
the fragmentation of the little flock grieves your Holy Spirit.
Forgive our weak efforts and slowness in pursuit of your will.
Give us wise shepherds after your own heart
who recognize the sin of division,
and who will lead the churches with righteousness and holiness,
to unity in you.
We ask you, Lord, to hear our prayer.
Yours in Christ,
Source of our oneness,
The Rev. Dominique Peridans