Day 8: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

week_of_prayer_logo_216wDay 8, Hearts Burning for Unity

Scripture

  • Isaiah 52:7-9, How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news.
  • Psalm 30, You have turned my mourning into dancing.
  • Colossians 1:27-29, How great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you.
  • Luke 24:13-36, Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures.

Meditation

The disappointed disciples who leave Jerusalem for Emmaus have lost their hope that Jesus was the Messiah and walk away from their community. It is a journey of separation and isolation.

By contrast, they return to Jerusalem full of hope with a Gospel message on their lips. It is this resurrection message that drives them back into the heart of the community and into a communion of fellowship.

So often Christians try to evangelize with a competitive spirit, hoping to fill their own churches. Ambition overrides the desire for others to hear the life-giving message of the Gospel. True evangelism is a journey from Emmaus to Jerusalem, a journey from isolation into unity.

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you have made our hearts burn within us, and have sent us back upon the road towards our brothers and sisters, with the Gospel message on our lips. Help us to see that hope and obedience to your commands always lead to the greater unity of your people. Amen.

For Reflection:

  • What are the disappointments that isolate us from others?
  • What are the gifts (initiatives, methods, and programs) that we can receive from other Christian communities?

This concludes the 2016 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Source: Greymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute

The Souls of the Just are in the Hands of God

By Sister Jane Geiger, MHSH

THE FEAST OF ALL SOULS, November 2, suggests a different mood from that of All Saints Day.  (See previous post.)  It is a day for remembering our beloved dead. We know death and loss touch us deeply and often leave us with confused feelings.  How can we celebrate?  The Feast of All Souls helps us to deal with this. The prayers and readings of the liturgy acknowledge the pain and loss we feel in separation, but they also give us reasons to be hopeful and to maintain our peace.

We are invited to pray for those who have died, to recall the importance and meaning of their lives for us and even to rejoice with them in the happiness they now know.  They are relieved of their suffering.  They are rewarded for a good life.  They find peace and rest.  They sit down at the banquet table of the Lord.

We learn to accommodate our sense of bereavement with the realization of their triumph.  We discover a new relationship with the deceased and learn that they are not lost to us. From their place in heaven they still love us, pray for us and share our belief that we will be reunited one day in the resurrection of the dead.

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25: 34)