Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 22)
January 22, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 5 (January 22)
Call to Prayer (Church of Scotland)
In the name of God, who created us, who holds us and the whole world in his hands.
In the name of the Son who came into the world, who reconciles us with God.
In the name of the Holy Spirit who fills us with eternal life, who links us with all Christians and incites us to peace,
we come together to offer our thanks and praise.
Confession (New St. Joseph People’s Prayer Book)
Heavenly Father, Your blessed Son asked that His Church be one 
as You and He are one, 
but Christians have not been united as He prayed.
We have isolated ourselves from each other 
and have failed to listen to each other. 
We have misunderstood and ridiculed 
and even gone so far as to attack each other.
In doing so we have offended against You, 
against all our brothers and sisters in the Church 
and against all who have not believed in You 
because of our scandalous disunity.
Forgive us Father, 
and make us fully one.
Blot out our sins, 
renew our minds, 
rekindle our hearts, 
and guide us by Your Holy Spirit 
into the oneness that is Your Will.

Where charity and love prevail,
there God is ever found;
Brought here together by Christ’s love,
by love are we thus bound.

With grateful joy and holy fear
His charity we learn;
Let us with heart and mind and soul
now love him in return.

Forgive we now each other’s faults
as we our faults confess;
And let us love each other well
in Christian holiness.

No race or creed can love exclude,
if honored be God’s name;
Our family embraces all
whose Father is the same.

Regard with favour, O Lord,
the prayers of your people
and unite the hearts of all believers
in repentance and in praise of you,
so that, with all divisions among Christians healed,
we may hasten with joy to your eternal kingdom
in the perfect communion of one Church.
Grant 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 (Joel 2:23-27)

Be glad, people of Zion,
    rejoice in the Lord your God,
for he has given you the autumn rains
    because he is faithful.
He sends you abundant showers,
    both autumn and spring rains, as before.
 The threshing floors will be filled with grain;
    the vats will overflow with new wine and oil.

 “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten—
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm[a]
my great army that I sent among you.
 You will have plenty to eat, until you are full,
    and you will praise the name of the Lord your God,
    who has worked wonders for you;
never again will my people be shamed.
Then you will know that I am in Israel,
    that I am the Lord your God,
    and that there is no other;
never again will my people be shamed.



It is easy to forget the fundamental equality existing among us: that once we were all slaves to sin, that the Lord saved us in baptism and called us his children. It is easy to think that the spiritual grace granted us is our property, something to which we are due, our property. The gifts we have received from God can also blind us to the gifts given to other Christians. It is a grave sin to belittle or despise the gifts that the Lord has given our brothers and sisters, and to think that God somehow holds them in less esteem. When we entertain such thoughts, we allow the very grace we have received to become a source of pride, injustice and division. And how can we then enter the promised kingdom? (Pope Francis; 2019)

Litany (Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches)
In Christ, the world is reconciled to God who entrusts to us the message of reconciliation. As the ambassadors of Christ’s reconciling work, we make our petitions to God:
When we pray together from our diverse traditions, Holy One who makes us one, make our unity visible and bring healing to the world.
When we read the Bible together in our diversity of language and context, Revealing One who makes us one, make our unity visible and bring healing to the world.
When we establish relations of friendships among Jews, Christians and Muslims, when we tear down the wall of indifference and hatred, Merciful One who makes us one, make our unity visible and bring healing to the world.
When we work for justice and solidarity, when we move from fear to confidence, Strengthening One who makes us one, make our unity visible and bring healing to the world.
Wherever there is suffering through war and violence, injustice and inequality, disease and prejudice, poverty and hopelessness, drawing us near to the cross of Christ and to each other, Wounded One who makes us one, make our unity visible and bring healing to the world.
With Christians of the Holy Land, we too are witnesses to the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, his ministry in Galilee, his death and resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Spirit in Jerusalem; when we yearn for peace and justice for all in the sure and certain hope of your coming Kingdom, Triune One who makes us one, make our unity visible and bring healing to the world.
Closing Prayer
Gracious God,
You who are the source of all love and goodness:
enable us to see the needs of our neighbour.
Show us what we can do to bring about healing.
Change us, so that we can love all our brothers and sisters.
Help us to overcome the obstacles of division,
that we might build a world of peace for the common good.
Thank you for renewing your Creation
and leading us to a future which is full of hope:
you who are Lord of all, yesterday, today and forever. Amen.