This Week of Prayer for Christian Unity,* January 18 – 25, I invite you to do two things.
One, stand with me in prayer for visible Christian unity. The World Council of Churches has Resources available for prayer and worship (44 page pdf file with Scripture and more). The whole passage of John 4: 1-42 is at the heart of this week and the theme verse is: Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (John 4: 7) and . The intolerance of Christians in Brazil is used as an example.
Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman and his request for water (he was hot, thirsty, tired after the journey and she had access to water) emphasizes our complementarity. Jews normally did not make such requests of Samaritans. But Jesus shows us that we all need each other. He has something to give the Samaritan woman and she too has something for which he asks. “Give me to drink” implies an ethical action that recognises the need for one another in living out the Church’s mission.” Visible Christian unity happens when there is collaboration, not competition. “Increasingly, in Brazil, some Christian groups adopt a competitive attitude towards one another: a competition for a place on mass media, and a competition for new members and public funds for major events. Pope Francis points to this very phenomenon when he writes, “Spiritual worldliness leads some Christians to war with other Christians who stand in the way of their quest for power, prestige, pleasure and economic security” (Evangelii Gaudium #98).”
Two, the Program Guide for our Families in Mission: Summit 2015 is now available online. I encourage you to download it, learn what is available and begin to make your choices for Feb. 7th. If you haven’t yet registered for the Summit, you can do so by clicking on this eventrbrite registration link.
Summit speakers, presenters and planners are praying and preparing diligently to provide us with opportunities to identify ways to build Jesus’ Kingdom of God together.
I pray that the Summit will be a glorious sign of our visible Christian unity in the OC. All praise to the One we love and serve. I look forward to seeing you on Feb. 7th.
* Note: The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is sandwiched between the feasts of St. Peter on January 18 and St. Paul on Jan. 25, which is liturgically celebrated as the day of Paul’s conversion.
Prayer (Day 6 from WCC Resource for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity):
following the example of Jesus,
make us witnesses to your love.
Grant us to become instruments of justice, peace and solidarity.
May your Spirit move us towards concrete actions that lead to unity.
May walls be transformed into bridges.
This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit.