REFLECTION FOR 2ND SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME (YEAR C), Week beginning 16 January 2022
From Tuesday of this week, 18th January, the Church observes 8 days of prayer for Christian Unity. It ends with the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul on 25th January. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity began in 1908, under the title of the ”Octave of Christian Unity”. Its focus was prayer for Church unity.
‘Oneness’ is God’s basic characteristic. We know this from the opening wording of the very first of the 10 Commandments: “I am
Yahweh Your God Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, the house of slavery. You shall have no gods except Me.”
“I am”, the meaning of “Yahweh”, is the very name of God.
In John’s Gospel, chapter 17 verses 21-23, Jesus addresses God the Father thus:
“May they all be one, Father. May they be one in us, as You are in Me and I am in You, so that the world may believe it was You Who sent Me. I have given them the glory You gave to Me, that they may be one as We are One. With Me in them and You in Me, may they be so completely one, that the world will realise that it was You Who sent Me, and that I have loved them as much as You loved Me.”
So, in the Christian Unity Octave we pray for the unification of the universal Church, east and west. At the same time, we have to think nationally and locally.
The pandemic will inevitably have brought admittedly necessary distractions to our life of worship, and to other aspects. When we meet at the Table of the Lord for Mass, especially on Sundays, we all need to keep uppermost, in our hearts and minds, that it is the Holy Eucharist that unites us, that makes us the one People of God. In the octave, therefore, let us also entreat God for ongoing Catholic unity also.