Saturday, January 21, 2017
This weekend marks the midway point of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The following are excerpts from Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute:
In 1993, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity issued the Directory for the Application of Principles and Norms of Ecumenism and explicitly encouraged participation in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. So today the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity belongs to all Christians who are sincerely interested in the fulfillment of Christ’s prayer “that all may be one.” When he discusses prayer in common in his A Handbook of Spiritual Ecumenism, Cardinal Walter Kasper specifically mentions that “the celebration of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity world-wide is an initiative of singular importance to be encouraged and further developed.” …
The 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity revolves around the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation. The theme: “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has two accents: reflection upon the main concerns of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and secondly recognizing the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the unity of the Church. In selecting this theme, it is viewed as an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.
This theme finds also finds its origins in Pope Francis’ 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) when it used the quote: “The Love of Christ Compels Us” (Paragraph 9). The theme finds its scriptural context in 2 Corinthians 5:14. The Council of Churches in Germany (ACK) took up the work of creating the resources for this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. For 2017, it should be noted that this biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. “God was reconciling the world (kosmos) to God’s self in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (v.19). As a result of God´s action, those who have been reconciled in Christ are called in turn to proclaim this reconciliation in word and deed: “The love of Christ compels us.”
Let us rejoice for the occasions we have currently, to work alongside brothers and sisters who share Faith in Christ (Meals Together, People to People, and Wooster Hope Center come to mind.). Let us pray actively for further development in these interactions.
I would like to remind everyone of the ongoing opportunity to request Mass intentions for a loved one, living or deceased. While Masses for the Dead are the most common request for lifting up family and friends, one can request that a Mass be offered for a living person (for example, on a birthday or anniversary), or even for a particular intention. Simply contact Jenny at the parish office during weekly daytime hours. We do our best to fulfill the request on a specific day; however, in some cases, it will be a day near to the original date requested (always with the consent of the requestor). Additionally, there are a few days of any year that are reserved for universal intentions only.
Peace and Wellness,