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Called to change direction

Called to change direction …

Today, we reach day eight, the final day of prayer in our ‘Week of Prayer for Christian Unity’.  Praying together to understand better through  the light of the Spirit how we can witness and live fully to fulfil that prayer of Jesus to the Father:

” … that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me”. (John 17:21)

We complete this year’s journey in keeping with the theme prepared for #WPCU2022 by the Middle East Council of Churches: We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him. (Mt 2:2).   It is based on the story of the Magi visiting the Holy Family in Bethlehem, which is one very familiar to us. The Magi have sometimes been seen as a symbol of the world’s diversity – different religions and cultures – that comes to pay homage to the Christ–child. The story therefore represents the unity of all created things that God desires.

Called to change direction

“They left for their own country by another road” (Mt 2:12)

Beyond the familiar routes of separation to God’s new paths.

We do not know what the wise men thought but we  do know that they were experts in astronomy and navigation.  When they were warned to return by another road, they may well have been very confused, but the same light that illumined their journey showed them that there was another road, another possibility. They were called to change direction.

We often find ourselves bound by our familiar ways of doing things and of seeing the world. When these ways or ‘roads’ are closed, we wonder how to proceed and continue the journey. We have to trust that the everlasting One who gave us the light, can always find a way forward when our ways and paths are blocked.

A fresh start is always possible when we are willing and open to the work of the Spirit.

As churches we look to the past and find illumination, and we look to the future in search of new ways so that we can continue to shine the light of the Gospel as we journey by another way, together.

Prayer

Gracious God,
when we only know one way
and we think we must return to it,
when we think that all roads are blocked,
and we fall into despair,
we always find you there,
creating a new unexpected path before us.

If we search our maps and find no route,
nonetheless we always find you,
who lead us by a yet more excellent way,
trusting that you will always lead us back to you
and forward in unity together.

Amen.

Meditative Response

Journeying on parallel paths
or often in opposite directions
We are called by ‘another way’
to become pilgrim companions
the people of The Way

Compasses and maps orientated
route finding and navigating together
our backpacks not burdensome
our boots crunching on,
rediscovering ancient paths,
walking humbly together with our God.

Note: This content is adapted from the text jointly published by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the WCC, through the WCC’s Commission on Faith and Order

See Resources for Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 (ctbi.org.uk)

You can  download the pdf document at this link WPCU-2022-English-A5-1.pdf.pages

Also, see some useful resource links:

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 | Archdiocese of Dublin (dublindiocese.ie)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2022 – Catholic Bishops’ Conference (cbcew.org.uk)

2022 01 17 Praying for unity, praying for the synod (christianunity.va)

Synodal Pathway | Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference

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