Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 20)
January 20, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 3 (January 20)
Call to Prayer (Christine Sine)
God who is One, You call us to be one,
May we be one with all who are made in Your image.
God who is Three, You call us to be community,
May we find community with all who are called by Your name.
God who calls us all by Your name,
May find our place in Your eternal family.
God Almighty,
today by the power of Your spirit we unite in prayer,
We unite with all our sisters and brothers in Christ.
We unite with sisters and brothers
from all Christian churches and denominations,
We unite with all who are joined by the Holy Spirit of God.
We unite with followers from every church and congregation,
We unite with God’s sons and daughters from every creed and culture.
Confession (Waiting for Water: Liturgy for The Easter Journey)
O God, we yearn to be a community of believers,
united in your Spirit.
And yet we are fraught with divisions:
denominational, political, theological.
We are weighed down by tensions and the things that break us apart.
Forgive us, great God, for this great sin.
Help us to learn to live in community together,
loving one another, in spite of our differences,
and respecting one another in everything that we do and say.
Help us to be as you call us, one in heart and mind.
Only through the grace of your son, Jesus Christ,
can we achieve this. Amen.
Diverse in culture, nation, race,
we come together by your Grace.
God, let us be a meeting ground
where hope and healing love are found.
God let us be a bridge of care 
connecting people ev'rywhere.
Help us confront all fear and hate
and lust for pow'r that separate.
When chasms widen, storms arise,
O Holy Spirit, make us wise.
Let ourselves, like steel, be strong,
to stand with those who suffer wrong.
God let us be a table spread
with gifts of love and broken bread,
where all find welcome, grace attends, 
and enemies arise as friends.
lover of all,
we humbly make our prayer:
pour forth the abundance of your Spirit upon us
and grant that, by living a life worthy of our calling,
we may bear witness to your truth before the world
and confidently seek the unity of all believers
in the bond of peace.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever. Amen. (ICEL; 1998)
Scripture  (Romans 13:8-10)
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not covet,” and whatever other command there may be, are summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”[ Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.
Psalm 119:57-63
You are my portion, Lord;
    I have promised to obey your words.
 I have sought your face with all my heart;
    be gracious to me according to your promise.
 I have considered my ways
    and have turned my steps to your statutes.
 I will hasten and not delay
    to obey your commands.
 Though the wicked bind me with ropes,
    I will not forget your law.
 At midnight I rise to give you thanks
    for your righteous laws.
 I am a friend to all who fear you,
    to all who follow your precepts.
So many past controversies between Christians can be overcome when we put aside all polemical or apologetic approaches, and seek instead to grasp more fully what unites us, namely, our call to share in the mystery of the Father’s love revealed to us by the Son through the Holy Spirit. Christian unity – we are convinced – will not be the fruit of subtle theoretical discussions in which each party tries to convince the other of the soundness of their opinions. When the Son of Man comes, he will find us still discussing! We need to realize that, to plumb the depths of the mystery of God, we need one another, we need to encounter one another and to challenge one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, who harmonizes diversities, overcomes conflicts, reconciles differences. (Pope Francis; 2015)
Prayers of Intercession (WCC)
We have been invited to live the divine call to love God and our neighbour as ourselves. As we renew our commitment to this call, may this love strengthen our unity as Christians. With all our hearts, we desire to dwell in God’s love and to have the grace to love our neighbours as ourselves.
God of boundless love, we pray that all people may come to know your unlimited mercy and believe in your desire to fill us with your infinite love.  Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.
We join our prayers to that of Jesus, who prayed for the unity of all who follow him. God of communion, we pray that we may work together for your greater glory and spread the Good News of salvation for all.  Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.
Our hearts are broken because of the confusion and division in our world. God, our healer, we who are scattered like sheep without a shepherd, ask you to gather us into one fold. Enliven us by your Spirit and send us again, two by two, to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.
Our world is scarred by terror and violence. Millions are forced to leave their homes in search of refuge and safety.  God of welcome, grant us the grace to risk embracing the stranger, tending their wounds and standing in solidarity with them. Strengthen our resolve to be kind and merciful and to act towards our sisters and brothers at all times as you do towards us.  Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.
In our weakness and fear we know that we often pass by on the other side, turning away from those who need our help.  God of power, despite our lack of charity, open our hearts to experience the length, width, height and depth of your love, so that we may love you more and love our neighbour as ourselves.  Fill us with your love! Make us one in you.
Closing Prayer
Lord Jesus, who prayed that all might be one,
we pray to you for the unity of all 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.