A Catholic Convert in Ottawa

One Body…

Posted on: January 20, 2014

John Foley’s song “One Bread, One Body” says that “We are one body in this one Lord.”

Our world often fails to reflect this truth. And so we need the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, “one of the oldest, most widely observed ecumenical events in the world, according to the page on the website for the Canadian Council of Churches.

“Has Christ Been Divided?” is this year’s theme, drawn from 1 Corinthians 1:13. We read the following in verses 12 to 13*: “What I mean is that each one of you says, ‘I belong to Paul,’ or ‘I belong to Apollos,’ or ‘I belong to Cephas,’ or ‘I belong to Christ.’ Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?”

But we are called to be one body, as the apostle Paul reminds us in verse 10:

I appeal to you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree and that there be no dissensions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

What does this mean in our time, and in the context of Christian unity?

  • That we need to pray for our fellow Christians, especially those who are persecuted in places such as India, Syria and Nigeria.
  • That we need to work with other Christians to serve people in need, particularly those who are poor, ill, or marginalized by society.
  • That we need to remember we’re all sinners called to be reconciled to God and to love as he has loved us.

Working with other Christians might be the hardest task. Sometimes people can’t see beyond differences in worship styles within denominations, let alone deal with more complex issues such as the presence of Christ in the Eucharist or the role of the Blessed Virgin Mary. But to confront social injustices such as homelessness and child poverty together, we need to find some common ground.

Please consider attending an ecumenical service in your community during this week of prayer. If there’s no service in your area, or if you can’t attend, please pray for peace, justice and hope where these are lacking and for ways Christians can work together as Jesus’ hands and feet to achieve these goals. For suggested readings, reflections and prayers, visit the Eight Days: Bible Reflections page on the website for the Canadian Council of Churches.

There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all, who is above all and through all and in all.

~ Ephesians 4:4-6

(Scripture quotes taken from the Holy Bible, Revised Standard Version, Second Catholic Edition.)

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Food for Thought

(Y)ou do not know about tomorrow. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and we shall do this or that.” ~ James 4:14-15

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