"You shall love the Lord your God…and your neighbor as yourself."
2024 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
In a world that feels more divided each day, unity seems like an ideal so far removed. Can the world ever come together as one? Jesus calls us to be the example of unity for the rest of the world to look upon. We have the task of working towards unification. One area we can strive to find more wholeness is within the entire Christian community.
Christians around the world have taken part in an octave of prayer for visible Christian unity since 1908. It is a movement towards the fulfillment of Jesus' prayer at the Last Supper "that they all may be one." (cf. John 17:21)
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually between 18-25 January in the Northern Hemisphere. These span the days between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul, and therefore have a symbolic significance.
This year's theme is "You shall love the Lord your God… and your neighbor as yourself," from the Gospel of Luke 10:27. Jesus was questioned as to the path to eternal life. His answer was not to only observe the commandments, but to also imitate the love of God in the giving of self for another. It is a call for charity, mercy, justice, and unity.
Ways to Work for Christian Unity:
1. Accept one another as brothers and sisters in Christ.
The Church reminds us that, through our shared baptism, we are already in relationship.
2. Remember that more unites us than separates us.
We should concentrate on those things on which we agree. Sometimes the problem is that we have a different way of saying the same things, so let’s always look at what is meant rather than at how it is expressed.
3. Listen and learn what others believe and why.
No relationship will grow unless both parties are willing to listen. Listening shows respect and helps us to understand why others have different beliefs. We don’t have to agree with them, but it’s important that we understand them.
4. Build and protect personal relationships.
We need to get to know each other well, to support and encourage one another, and to stand up for each other when we are attacked by those opposed to what we are doing.
5. Accept that there is a healthy tension between love and truth, but remember that love is the authentic sign of true Christianity.
We will not make any progress without love, because only in love can we together search for the truth.
6. Do together as much as we can in good conscience, thereby giving public witness to our shared faith; never forget that Jesus prayed for unity among his followers.
We are called to “every possible form of practical co-operation at all levels: pastoral, cultural and social, as well as that of witnessing to the Gospel message” (Ut Unum Sint section 40) So we must pray as if it all depends on God, whilst working together as if it all depends on us.
7. Finally, never forget that Jesus and the Father want unity and that it is a work of the Holy Spirit.
So prayer remains the most important activity. As we pray together, our respect for one another grows, as does our shared concern for unity.
Join us for Mass at 4:00 PM on Saturday, 8:30 or 10:30 AM on Sunday, or on www.gbres.org/live, our YouTube channel, and our Facebook page.
READINGS FOR THIS WEEKEND’S MASSES
VIRTUALLY SUNDAY REFLECTION
Ordinary time has returned after the seasons of Advent and Christmas. This is the time to get to know the Lord. And for the Lord to get to know you. How will you grow in learning about the Lord and how will he grow in knowledge of you? Join Fr. Paul as he reflects on this weekend's scripture readings.
This Weekend's Bulletin
(click to read)
The Parish Lyceum will feature a variety of topics, guidelines, and relevant information to nurture the PIESS of our lives – physical, intellectual, emotional, spiritual, and social.
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