CHRISTIAN UNITY OCTAVE
“I am the vine, you are the branches” Jn 15:5
“May they all be one. Father, may they be one in us, as you are in me and I in you … 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.” Jn 17:20,21,23.
Pope Francis has invited everyone to participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 18 to 25 January, which this year focuses on a theme relating the experience of the Magi, who came from the East to Bethlehem to worship the Messiah King: "We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him." The Pope said that in a similar way, Christians of diverse backgrounds and traditions "are pilgrims on our way to full unity" who come closer to our goal when keeping our gaze fixed on Jesus.
Pope Francis encourages us to pray for Christian unity and also offer up our struggles and suffering.
Let us pray:
as the Magi journeyed towards Bethlehem led by the star,
so by your heavenly light,
guide the Catholic Church to walk together with all Christians during this time of synod.
As the Magi were united in their worship of Christ,
lead us closer to your Son and so to one another,
so that we become a sign of the unity that you desire for your Church and the whole creation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer for the Synod:
We stand before You, Holy Spirit, as we gather together in Your name.
With You alone to guide us, make Yourself at home in our hearts;
Teach us the way we must go and how we are to pursue it.
We are weak and sinful; do not let us promote disorder.
Do not let ignorance lead us down the wrong path nor partiality influence our actions.
Let us find in You our unity so that we may journey together to eternal life and not stray from the way of truth and what is right.
All this we ask of You, who are at work in every place and time, in the communion of the Father and the Son, forever and ever.