Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Today we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year is significant because it marks the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther’s publication of his 95 theses in 1517. This year’s theme, the initiative of the German Council of Churches at the request of the World Council of Churches, is Reconciliation: The Love of Christ Compels Us from 2 Cor 5:14-20. The challenge for the Germans was how to celebrate this Reformation event in such a way that all its ecumenical partners could participate. They agreed that it should be a Christusfest, a celebration of Christ, in whom God has reconciled us to himself. The text they chose was inspired by paragraph nine of Pope Francis’ Encyclical the Joy of the Gospel, in which the Holy Father speaks of how “the love of Christ compels us” to spread the Gospel. How powerful that proclamation would be if it could be made with one voice! Aware that this unity begins first in the conversion of our own hearts, let us beg the  Lord's mercy.

Meditation by Father Timothy