Monday, January 15th, 2018
LEADER: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen
This Wednesday we begin the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This is a special week in which Christian churches are asked to put aside their differences and focus on their similarities and where we are asked to pray that one day, all Christian churches would be one. After Jesus' resurrection and before he ascended into heaven to be with his Father, he prayed that all of his disciples would be one-which is another word for united. Unfortunately, Jesus' prayer hasn't been answered. If I was to ask you how many different Christian Churches there are in the world, what would your answer be? To help you out I'll name a few different churches-Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Baptist, and United. So would you say there are 100 different churches in the world or even a thousand? Sadly, the number is much higher. There are 35,000 different Christian Churches in the world. Some Christian Churches get along every well with others. However, there are still too many that look down upon Christians from other churches and say nasty things about them. This is not what Jesus wants. Jesus wants us to be merciful and get along with each other.
Thus, today's prayer, which was written by Pope Francis, focuses on how we can be merciful to one another. If all Christians can learn to show mercy to one another not only will this world be a better place but we will be well on our way to becoming united as Christians which is what Jesus wants. Let us pray.
Help us, O Lord, that our eyes may be merciful,
so we may never suspect or judge from appearances,
but look for what is beautiful in our neighbours
and come to their rescue.
Help us, that our ears may be merciful,
so we may listen to our neighbours' needs
and not ignore their pains.
Help us, O Lord, that our tongues may be merciful,
so we should never speak negatively of our neighbours,
but have a word of comfort and forgiveness.
Help us, O Lord, that our hands may be merciful
and filled with good deeds, so we may do only good to our neighbors.
Help us, O Lord, to be merciful, just like you. We make our prayer in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.