Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 21)
January 21, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 4 (January 21)
Call to Prayer. (Canadian Council of Churches)
Almighty God, through Jesus you say to us that whoever wishes to be first must become the least and the servant of all.  We enter into your presence, knowing that your victory is won through the powerlessness of the cross. We come to pray that your church may be one. Teach us to accept humbly that this unity is a gift of your Spirit; through this gift, change and transform us and make us more like your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.
Confession (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches)
Almighty God, in spite of the Unity we receive in Christ, we persist in our disunity.  Have mercy on us!
We harden our hearts when we hear the Gospel.  Have mercy on us!
We fail to serve You in our brothers and sisters. Have mercy on us!
The disobedience of Adam and Eve brought suffering and death to us, and creation was wounded and torn apart.  Have mercy on us!
O God,
who gathered together a diversity of nations
to be united in the profession of your holy name,
grant us the will and the strength to follow your command,
that all who are called to your kingdom
may be united in faith and holiness of life.
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)
We are many parts
We are all one body
And the gifts we have
We are given to share
May the spirit of love, make us one indeed
One, the love that we share
One, our hope in despair
One, the cross that we bear
God of all, we look to You
We would be Your servants true
Let us be Your love for all the world
All you seekers great and small
Seek the greatest gift of all
If you love, then you will know the Lord
Scripture (Isaiah 58:6-9a)
“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
Psalm 34:15-22

The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
    and his ears are attentive to their cry;
 but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
    to blot out their name from the earth.

 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
    he delivers them from all their troubles.
 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

 The righteous person may have many troubles,
    but the Lord delivers him from them all;
 he protects all his bones,
    not one of them will be broken.

 Evil will slay the wicked;
    the foes of the righteous will be condemned.
 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

Beyond the differences that still divide us, let us recognize with joy that at the origin of Christian life there is always one call whose maker is God himself. Let us move forward on the path to a full and visible communion among Christians not only when we come closer to one another, but above all as we convert to the Lord, who out of grace chooses us and calls us to be his disciples. To convert means to allow the Lord to live and work in us. (Pope Francis; 2016)
Litany (Rev. David Inglis)
We are God's work of art— each one of us a precious gem, a marvelous melody, a potter's delight.
We are God's handiwork– woven together in love, shaped with infinite compassion, painted with incredible beauty.
We are the church of Jesus Christ— diverse in human qualities, but united in our call to love God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
We are the Body of Christ— living in his truth, sharing his peace, carrying his hope, embodying his love, throughout the world he loved so much.
We are here to be reminded once more who we are, whose we are and what our lives are about.
We are here to be uplifted, renewed and empowered to live out the miracle of who we are, by the power of God working in and among us.  We open ourselves to God, who makes all things new.
Closing Prayer
Lord Jesus Christ,
As we journey with you towards unity,
may our eyes not look away,
but be wide open to the world.
As we travel through life,
may we stop and reach out, bind up the wounded
and in so doing experience your presence in them:
you who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.