02/05/2012 12:36


“We will all be changed by the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ”

(cf. 1 Cor 15:51-58)

Since 1968 churches round the world have used a common theme and Scripture readings for a Week of Prayer for Christian Unity that has become an important part of the ecumenical movement.  It has helped Christians from different churches to pray together and, in that way, to come together more closely in faith.  In many countries this is done during the week before the feast of the conversion of St. Paul on January 25th.  In Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as well as in Australia and other countries it is done between Ascension and Pentecost.  But the search for unity is not limited to one week.  We must pray always for the full unity that Jesus wanted.

This year the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been prepared by an ecumenical group in Poland where Christians in recent times have experienced both joy and sorrow.  The history of Poland has been marked by both defeat and victory; by oppression from outside powers and by conflict inside the nation.  The people of Poland know that where there are winners who enjoy victory, there are also losers who do not share the joy of the winners.  What does it mean to “win” and to “lose?”  A Christian sense of “victory” is different from a worldly pride that puts down the others.  When Jesus’ disciples argued about which one was the “greatest” Jesus told them that whoever wants to be first must serve the others (Mk 9:34-35.