In 1935 Abbé Paul Couturier, a French priest, addressed this problem by promoting prayer for Christian unity on the inclusive basis that "our Lord would grant to his Church on earth that peace and unity which were in his mind and purpose, when, on the eve of His Passion, He prayed that all might be one." A huge ecumenical step was taken in 1964 with the issuing of the Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican Council II. The Decree was clear for Roman Catholics: "In certain special circumstances, such as in prayer services for unity and during ecumenical gatherings, it is allowable, indeed desirable, that Catholics should join in prayer with their separated brethren.”
Now, how is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity connected with the Scriptures for this 2nd Sunday after the Epiphany? The Gospel’s main message is that Jesus, in his Person, in the first sign of his public ministry, reveals to us God’s Presence. We live in a world of signs and of sign-making. Our signs attempt to communicate, to convey, a message. They’re attempts to be there, to be present, to another person(s). St. John today describes Jesus dealing with people in the way that we know best: by signs, by words.