Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Day 3 Reflection

Day 3 (January 20), The Witness of Fellowship


John 17:20-23, That they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me.

Meditation—Am I spiritually mature enough for Christian Unity?

Jesus prayed that his disciples become one at the Last Supper. Yet we followers of the Prince of Peace are not at peace with one another. Our example speaks louder than our words. People notice.

With the rise of the ecumenical movement, we followers of Christ have shifted much of our energy toward collaboration. We presume the best of one another and often work together for the common good.

Yet we still invest a fair amount of energy in competition. Maybe this means that we reflect our culture. As Americans, we want our church to be #1.

A more likely explanation is that we need to go deeper spiritually—and as always we are resisting. In coming closer to Christ we come closer to one another.

We need to ask for the grace of the Holy Spirit but are afraid of what the Spirit might ask of us. Maybe we will need to give our seat in church to someone else or to give one of our valued possessions away.

But ‘maybe’ in following the Spirit we will be at peace with ourselves and with others. People will notice.


Lord Jesus, who prayed that we might all be one, we pray to you for the unity of Christians according to your will, according to your means. May your Spirit enable us to experience the suffering caused by division, to see our sin and to hope beyond all hope. Amen.


Father John Crossin, OSFS is executive director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. He is a consultor to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. He tweets @crossinusccb.​

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