Catholic Corner
January 20, 2022

This is the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, and its theme is taken from the words of the Magi in the Gospel of Matthew: “Where is the child who has been born king of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.” They remind us of our oneness, as creation of God, as those who seek and desire God and who come via many roads, cultures, languages and experiences in search of the hope that is promised in Christ.

The Synod reminds us that both it and the search for unity among Christians follow the same path of “walking together.” A synodal Church is a listening Church and a listening Church will hear and honor all who share by baptism, the name of Christian. Inviting Christians of other faiths into our synodal conversations opens us to learning and understanding from their experiences of synodality as well as fostering and deepening our ecumenical relationships with our brothers and sisters of other Christian traditions. This is a good week to reflect on the Synods’ call for us to engage in ecumenical conversations so that by walking together we truly put into practice “the nature of the Church as the pilgrim and missionary People of God.”

This year’s theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity was offered by the Christians of the Middle East who recognize “that the world shares many of the travails and difficulties that they experience, and yearns for a light to lead the way to the Saviour who can overcome darkness. The COVID-19 global pandemic, the ensuing economic crisis, and the failure of political, economic and social structures to protect the weakest and most vulnerable, have underlined the global need for a light to shine in the darkness. The star that shone in the east, the Middle East, two thousand years ago still calls us to the manger, to where Christ is born. It draws us to where the Spirit of God is alive and active, to the reality of our baptism, and to the transformation of our hearts.” [1] Our synod journey calls us to be Church in new ways, a listening Church, a journeying Church and one that seeks new ways to express visible unity between churches “so that young people can build a future that accords to God’s heart, a future in which all human beings can experience life, peace, justice, and love.“[2]

[1] Material for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022, World Council of Churches.

[2] Ibid.