Let us begin by lighting a candle, making the sign of the Cross, quieting ourselves and welcoming God into the space where we dwell and into our mind and heart.
Play this music I Am the Vine by John Michael Talbot to aid in coming into this space of prayer.
Scripture for today
“I am the vine, you are the branches” (John 15:5a)
On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe”. Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us.
Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision:
“All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” .(1 Cor 3:22-23)
Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one. . .so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21).
“Never resign yourself to the scandal of the separation of Christians who so readily profess love for their neighbour, and yet remain divided. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern.”
vivifying fire and gentle breath, come and abide in us.
Renew in us the passion for unity
so that we may live in awareness of the bond that unites us in you.
May all who have put on Christ at their Baptism
unite and bear witness together to the hope that sustains them.
Questions to carry through your day
- Are you resigned to the scandal of separation of Christians?
- What part of your tradition is vital and life giving and what can you learn from what is vital and life giving within other Christian traditions?
- What could be the impact on the world of greater unity between the churches?
Other passages of Scripture you may like to use
- 1 Corinthians 1:10-13; 3:21-23 Is Christ divided?
- John 17:20-23 As you and I are one
End with playing this piece of music from Bernadette Farrell, Spirit of God
And we end – In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen