Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Conclusion: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity / The Conversion of St. Paul the Apostle

God of Peace, we thank you that you sent your Son Jesus, so that we might be reconciled to yourself in him. Give us the grace to be effective servants of reconciliation within our churches. Fill us with love for one another and may our unity serve the reconciliation that you desire for all creation. We pray in the power of the Spirit. Amen.

We've been praying this week in the spirit of the ancient Church of Jerusalem with its long-standing devotion to the apostles' teaching, to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers. Has anything changed in world during the past seven days? or in the Church? or in each of our local situations? Honestly, though our efforts and prayer are certainly not wasted, yet the realities of division, discontent, disappointment and injustice still remain to challenge us. The question now is: to what are you and I called, here and now?

Prayer for Christian unity is not a one-time, or simply an annual, observance. It must be our aim to "Pray always", so that the Church may truly become a sign and instrument for healing divisions and injustices, for growth in understanding between people of all faiths and those with no faith. We're called, both in our personal and family lives, as well as in our corporate life together, to be "ambassadors of reconciliation".

God in Christ is continually reconciling all people to Godself. St. Paul, whose feast we commemorate today, refers to this as "a new creation." Our vocation as ambassadors of reconciliation is a call to allow the power of the Holy One in us to make all things new. This is the Good News which we're called to proclaim by the way we live, not just during one week of the year, but every day of our lives.

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