This week, we are using daily meditations prepared by the World Council of Churches in celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We encourage you to take time this week to pray specifically for the witness of Christ’s Church throughout the world.
20 “I’m not praying only for them but also for those who believe in me because of their word. 21 I pray they will be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. I pray that they also will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. 22 I’ve given them the glory that you gave me so that they can be one just as we are one. 23 I’m in them and you are in me so that they will be made perfectly one. Then the world will know that you sent me and that you have loved them just as you loved me.
On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe.” Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us.
Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision: “All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Corinthians 3:22-23).
Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one. . .so that the world may believe” (John 17:21).
Never resign yourself to the scandal of the separation of Christians who so readily profess love for their neighbour, and yet remain divided. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern.The Rule of Taizé in French and English (2012) p. 13
Courtesy of the Monastic Community of Grandchamp, Switzerland.
For Pondering & Prayer
Are there certain Christian traditions that you more easily identify with? Are there traditions that you don’t understand or perhaps are wary of? How might you learn more and gain an experience of their belief and practice?
Prayer: Holy Spirit, vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us. Renew in us the passion for unity so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you. May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them.