Week of Prayer for Christian Unity (Jan 23)
January 23, 2024
Fr. John Colacino C.PP.S.
Day 6 (January 23)
Call to Prayer
We have come together as one. One people, gathered in the name of the one God.
We will worship together as one. One community, giving praise and honor to the Righteous One.
We are being empowered as one by One. One body and one Spirit, called to the hope of one calling,
One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is above all and through all and in all.
Now, in the name of the Three-in-One, we act as one. One people, giving witness to the power of One.
Confession (Thom Shuman)
Steadfast God, we confess that we are so busy putting up walls between ourselves and others, we cannot see the home you are building for all of us. 
We spend so much time noting the differences between us and others, while you are embracing everyone as your child. We run to welcome those who look, talk, and act like us, and you throw open your doors to the stranger, the alien, in our midst.
Forgive us, Faithful Heart. By your grace, help us to see the household you are building for all people: there are no plastic protectors on the furniture; there are no rooms that are off-limits; and even the smallest child is welcome to sit at the big peoples' Table and be fed by your grace.
We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, our peace, our hope, our Lord, our Savior.
We are many yet we are one We are separate yet bound in His love
And together we are all His hands and His feet Bringing mercy and peace to this world
We are many but one
We have fallen but we are forgiven
Broken and scattered but being made whole
By our redeemer, one Lord and Redeemer
One Shepherd who gathers us all
Gathers us all
We are different
As morning and evening
Each of us living as we have been called
All of us seeking
Each of us reaching to
A Shepherd who gathers us all
Gathers us all
We are brothers and sisters in spirit
Found in all nations that are near to the Lord
Each one belonging, together now longing for
The Shepherd who gathers us all
Who gathers us all
Lord, look with kindness on your people
and pour out upon us the gifts of your Spirit,
that we may grow in love of truth
and work zealously for the perfect unity of all Christians.
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 (Genesis 18:1-5)

The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day.  Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord,[a] do not pass your servant by.  Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.” “Very well,” they answered, “do as you say.”

From this Week of Prayer we want to learn to be more hospitable, in the first place among ourselves as Christians and among our brothers and sisters of different confessions. Hospitality belongs to the tradition of Christian communities and families. Our elders taught us this by their example: there was always something extra on the table of a Christian home for a passing friend or a person in need who knocked on the door. In monasteries a guest is treated with great respect, as if he or she were Christ. Let us not lose, indeed let us revive, these customs that have the flavour of the Gospel!  (Pope Francis; 2020)

A Prayer for Our World (Rabbi Harold S. Kushner)

Let the rain come and wash away the ancient grudges, the bitter hatreds held and nurtured over generations.
Let the rain wash away the memory of the hurt, the neglect. Then let the sun come out and fill the sky with rainbows.
Let the warmth of the sun heal us wherever we are broken. Let it burn away the fog so that we can see each other clearly. So that we can see beyond labels, beyond accents, gender or skin color.
Let the warmth and brightness of the sun melt our selfishness. So that we can share the joys and feel the sorrows of our neighbors.
And let the light of the sun be so strong that we will see all people as our neighbors.
Let the earth, nourished by rain, bring forth flowers to surround us with beauty. And let the mountains teach our hearts to reach upward to heaven. Amen.
Closing Prayer
Father of love,
In Jesus, you showed us the meaning of hospitality, by caring for our fragile humanity.
Help us to become a community that welcomes those who feel abandoned and lost,
building a house where all are welcome.
May we come closer to one another as we offer the world your unconditional love.
This we pray in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen