Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2015
18-25th January inclusive at 4.30pm.
The night before his Passion and Death, Jesus said:
“May they all be one,
year from 18-25th January, Christians of all denominations unite around
the world to pray for this great desire of the heart of
Jesus—that we may all be one. Here at Kilmacud Carmelite
Monastery we dedicate our Evening Prayer at 4.30pm for this intention
each day during the Week of Prayer. All are welcome to join us.
just as, Father,
you are in me and I am in you” Jn 17:21
QUICK LINKS: THEME & BIBLICAL
ECUMENISM IN BRAZIL
DAILY REFLECTIONS AND PRAYERS
QUOTES AND PHOTOS FROM EACH DAY
THEME: Jesus said to her: Give me a drink (John 4:7)
BIBLICAL TEXT FOR 2015: John 4: 1-42
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard,
“Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than
John’— although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples
who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he
had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called
Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph.
Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was
sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her,
“Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to
buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you,
a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share
things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you
knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give
me a drink’, you would have asked him, and he would have given
you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no
bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are
you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his
sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her,
“Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but
those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be
thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of
water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him,
“Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have
to keep coming here to draw water.”
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.”
The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to
her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’;
for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your
husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him,
“Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on
this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is
in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the
hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this
mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship
what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming,
and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in
spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and
truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is
coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will
proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he,
the one who is speaking to you.”
Just then his disciples came. They were astonished that he was speaking
with a woman, but no one said, “What do you want?” or,
“Why are you speaking with her?” Then the woman left her
water-jar and went back to the city. She said to the people,
“Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He
cannot be the Messiah, can he?” They left the city and were on
their way to him.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat
something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that
you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another,
“Surely no one has brought him something to eat?” Jesus
said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and
to complete his work. Do you not say, ‘Four months more, then
comes the harvest’? But I tell you, look around you, and see how
the fields are ripe for harvesting. The reaper is already receiving
wages and is gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper
may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows
and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you did not
labour. Others have laboured, and you have entered into their
Many Samaritans from that city believed in him because of the
woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I have ever
done.” So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay
with them; and he stayed there for two days. And many more believed
because of his word. They said to the woman, “It is no longer
because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for
ourselves, and we know that this is truly the Saviour of the
Guest speakers at the Carmelite Monastery this week:
Sun 18th: Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
ECUMENISM IN BRAZIL
Mon 19th: Rev. Katherine Meyer, United Methodist/Presbyterian Church, Sandymount
Tues 20th: Rev. Robert Opala OCD, Carmelite Community, Oxford, UK
Wed 21st: Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
Thurs 22nd: Rev. Ian Gallagher, St. Brigid’s Church of Ireland, Stillorgan
Fri 23rd: Rev. Tony Coote Adm., Mount Merrion & Kilmacud parishes
Sat 24th: Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
Sun 25th: Mrs. Alex Fromholz, Lay Teacher/Leadership Team, Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, Rathmines
This text is reproduced
under the sole authority and responsibility of the ecumenical group in Brazil which
came together to write the source texts for the Week of Prayer for Christian
The ecumenical movement in Brazil has
roots in the experience of interdenominational cooperation between different
Protestant missionary agencies operating in the country since the 19th century.
In 1934, the Evangelical Confederation of Brazil (CEB) was created in order to
promote the ecumenical movement. The CEB later played an important role in
promoting the ideals of the World Council of Churches. The churches that
participated in the creation of CEB were the Methodist, Episcopal, Presbyterian
churches of Brazil
and the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil. They were joined by the
Evangelical Church of Lutheran Confession in Brazil
in 1959, by the Foursquare
in 1963, and by the Pentecostal Church Brazil for Christ in 1968. Mission was
an important topic for CEB. Another well-known dimension of CEB’s work was its
circular letters that addressed social issues in Brazil such as the need for land
reform, improving education, literacy courses and campaigns in emergencies.
The greater involvement of
young Brazilians with international Christian youth movements such as the
Universal Federation of Student Christian Movements (WSCF) was an important
factor. The churches were forced to confront the issues of social and economic
conflict which continued to emerge in these groups. Another important influence
was the example of French Catholic priests who sought to live alongside the
poor and who became an inspiration for many young Christians in Brazil. The
challenge was to foster a theology that incorporated both Brazilian culture and
the problems of Brazilian society in its reflection.
In 1953, CEB created organized four
national conferences to understand the reality of the country and identify
prospects from a Protestant perspective. The topics covered in these four
conferences were: Social Responsibility of the Church (1955), Study on the
Social Responsibility of the Church (1955), The Church's presence in the
Evolution of Nationality (1960) and Jesus Christ and the Brazilian
Revolutionary Process (1962). By the third and fourth conferences one begins to
see an openness to dialogue with Roman Catholics, who were also meeting to
discuss the social and political problems of the country.
In the years following the 1964
military coup, the CEB was progressively dismantled. However, the ecumenical
work which the Confederation promoted did not entirely disappear. As a result
of Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church in Brazil increasingly opened to
dialogue with other Christians and was increasingly aware of the social
responsibility of the Church. In the face of political repression, the
doctrinal differences which separated the churches were of secondary importance
to the pressing social problems faced by the Brazilian people, and this
contributed to the reinvigoration of the ecumenical movement.
In the context of military
dictatorship, ecumenical groups of Protestants and Roman Catholics, and which
also included some non-Christians, started to promote human rights, denounce
torture, and to pursue democratic openness. Particular situations of oppression
and human rights issues have remained at the centre of the ecumenical movement
Since 1975, the leaders of the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelical Church of
Lutheran Confession in Brazil,
the Episcopal Anglican Church, and the Methodist Church
began to envisage together the establishment of a National Council of Churches.
Their vision became a reality in 1982, when CONIC was created. In the rather
complex Brazilian religious context, CONIC seeks to foster dialogue between
churches and other religions. Amidst growing religious intolerance, CONIC is
involved in several discussion forums that seek to minimize the impact of
religious fundamentalism. It has taken a leading role in the debate on the
relationship between Church and Society, discussing, in particular, the need
for regulation of the relationship between civil society organizations and the
State. In relationships and at times in conflict between religious groups and
movements identified with the struggle for human rights, CONIC has worked with
a view to promote theological reflection on different perspectives and
perceptions in society.
One of CONIC’s most important activities is the annual
celebration of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. It has also supported
three Lenten campaigns sponsored by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference, which
were held ecumenically in the years 2000, 2005 and 2010. The fourth ecumenical Lent Campaign will take place in 2016.
Printable (pdf) version of these daily reflections
DAY 1: Sun 18th Jan: It is necessary to go through Samaria (John 4:4)
The negative reputation of Samaria came
from its mix of races and religions. More than a geographical issue,
the choice of Jesus: “going through Samaria” means that it
is necessary to meet the other, the different, the one who is often
seen as a threat. Samaritans in their turn,
also had difficulty accepting Jews (Jn 4:8). On at least one occasion,
reported in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was not received in a
Samaritan city simply because he was on his way to Judea (Lk 9:52). So resistance to dialogue came from the two sides. John
makes it clear that “going through Samaria” is a choice
Jesus is making; he is reaching beyond his own people. In this he is
showing us that isolating ourselves from those who are different and
relating only to people like ourselves is a self-inflicted
impoverishment. It is the dialogue with those who are different that
makes us grow.
God of all peoples, teach us to go through Samaria to meet our brothers and sisters from other churches. Allow us to go there with an open heart so we may learn from every church and culture. We confess that you are the source of unity. Grant us the unity that Christ wills for us. Amen.
DAY 2: Mon 19th Jan: Tired of the journey, Jesus sat down facing the well (John 4:6)
The Pharisees had begun to spread the
word that Jesus baptized more disciples than John. Perhaps this rumour
has caused some tension and discomfort. Perhaps it is the reason behind
Jesus’ decision to leave. His fatigue could also be related to
the rumours. It still happens that instead of a common search for
unity, competition and dispute mark the relations between the churches.
This has been the experience of Brazil in recent years. Communities
extol their own virtues and the benefits that accrue to their adherents
in order to attract new members. Some think that the bigger the church,
the larger its number of members, the greater its power, the closer
they are to God, presenting themselves as the only true worshippers. As
a result there has been violence and disrespect to other religions and
traditions. We need “wells” to lean upon, to rest and let
go of disputes, competition and violence, places where we can learn
that true worshippers worship “in Spirit and in Truth.”
Gracious God, often our churches are led to choose the logic of competition. Forgive our sin of presumption. We are weary from this need to be first. Allow us to rest at the well. Refresh us with the water of unity drawn from our common prayer. May your Spirit who hovered over the waters of chaos bring unity from our diversity. Amen.
DAY 3: Tue 20th Jan: “I have no husband” (John 4:17)
Samaritan woman answers Jesus, “I have no husband.” The
topic of conversation is now about the married life of the woman.
However, it seems that Jesus was interested in another dimension of the
woman’s situation, he acknowledges the woman’s life but
remains open to her, to encounter her. Jesus does not insist on a moral
interpretation of her answer but seems to want to lead her beyond. And
as a result the woman’s attitude towards Jesus changes. At this
point, the obstacles of cultural and religious differences fade into
the background in order to give space to something much more important:
an encounter in trust.
O you who are beyond all things, how could we call you by any other name? What
song could be sung for you? No word can express you. What Spirit can
perceive you? No intelligence can comprehend you. You alone are
inexpressible; all that is said has come
from you. You alone are unknowable; all that is thought has come from
you. All creatures proclaim you, those who speak and those who are
dumb. Every one desires you, everyone sighs and aspires after you. All
that exists prays to you, and every being that can contemplate your
universe raises to you a silent hymn. Have pity on us, you who are
beyond all things. How could we call you by any other name? Amen.
DAY 4: Wed 21st Jan: Then the woman left her water jar (John 4:28)
The encounter between Jesus and the Samaritan woman shows that dialogue
with the different, the stranger, the unfamiliar, can be life-giving.
That the Samaritan woman leaves behind her water jar signals that she
has found a greater gift, a greater good than the water she came for,
and a better place to be within her community. She recognizes the
greater gift that this Jewish stranger, Jesus, is offering her. It is
difficult for us to find value, to recognize as good, or even holy,
that which is unknown to us and that which belongs to another. However,
recognizing the gifts that belong to the other as good and as holy is a
necessary step towards the visible unity we seek.
God, help us to learn from Jesus and the Samaritan that the encounter
with the other opens for us new horizons of grace. Help us to break
through our limits and embrace new challenges. Help us to go beyond
fear in following the call of your Son. In the name of Jesus Christ, we
DAY 5: Thur 22nd Jan: You have no bucket and the well is deep (John 4:11)
needed help. He has no bucket to draw water. Everybody needs help! Many
Christians believe that they alone have all the answers and they need
no help from anyone else. We lose a lot if we maintain this
perspective. None of us can reach the depths of the well of the divine
and yet faith demands that we delve deeper into the mystery. We cannot
do this in isolation. We need the help of our Christian brothers and
sisters. Only then can we reach into the depths of the mystery of God.
Brazilian indigenous traditions teach us to learn from the wisdom of
the elderly, and at the same time, from the curiosity and innocence of
infants. When we are ready to accept that we do need each other, we
become like children, open to learn.
spring of the Living water, help us to understand that the more we join
together the pieces of our ropes, the more deeply our buckets reach
into your divine waters! Awaken us to the truth that the gifts of the
other, are an expression of your unfathomable mystery. And make us sit
at the well together to drink from your water which gathers us in unity
and peace. We ask this in the name of your son Jesus Christ, who asked
the Samaritan woman to give him water for his thirst. Amen.
DAY 6: Fri 23rd Jan: Jesus
said : “The water that I will give will become in them a spring
of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14)
dialogue that begins with Jesus asking for water becomes a dialogue in
which Jesus promises water. Later in this same gospel Jesus will again
ask for a drink. “I thirst,” he says from the cross, and
from the cross Jesus becomes the promised fountain of water which flows
from his pierced side. We receive this water, this life from Jesus, in
baptism, and it becomes a water, a life that wells up within us to be
given and shared with others. The water of baptism springing into life
becomes an ecumenical witness of Christian love in action, a foretaste
of the eternal life which Jesus promises.
God, following the example of Jesus, make us witnesses to your love.
Grant us to become instruments of justice, peace and solidarity. May
your Spirit move us towards concrete actions that lead to unity. May
walls be transformed into bridges. This we pray in the name of Jesus
Christ in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
DAY 7: Sat 24th Jan: “Give me to drink” (John 4:7)
the wilderness God’s people were without water and God sent Moses
and Aaron to bring water forth from the rock. In the same way God often
meets our needs through others. As we call upon the Lord in our need,
like the Samaritan asking Jesus, “Sir, give me this water,”
perhaps the Lord has already answered our prayers by putting into the
hands of our neighbours that for which we ask. And so we need to turn
also to them, and ask, “Give me to drink.” Sometimes the answer to our need is already in the life and goodwill of the people around us.
of life, who cares for all creation, and calls us to justice and peace,
may our security not come from arms, but from respect. May our force
not be of violence, but of love. May our wealth not be in money, but in
sharing. May our path not be of ambition, but of justice. May our
victory not be from vengeance, but in forgiveness. May our unity not be
in the quest of power, but in vulnerable witness to do your will. Open
and confident, may we defend the dignity of all creation, sharing,
today and forever, the bread of solidarity, justice and peace. This we
ask in the name of Jesus, your holy Son, our brother, who, as victim of
our violence, even from the heights of the cross, gave forgiveness to
us all. Amen.
(Adapted from a prayer from an ecumenical conference in Brazil, calling
for an end to poverty as the first step on the path to peace through
DAY 8: Sun 25th Jan: Many believed because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39)
her heart transformed, the Samaritan woman goes out in mission. Mission
is a key element of Christian faith. Every Christian is called to
announce the name of the Lord. Pope Francis told missionaries,
“wherever you may go, it would do you well to think that the
Spirit of God always gets there ahead of us”. Mission is not
proselytism. Those who truly announce Jesus approach others in loving
dialogue, open to mutual learning, and respecting difference. Our
mission requires us to learn to drink from the living water without
taking hold of the well. The well does not belong to us. Rather, we
draw life from the well, the well of living water which is given by
Christ. The late Brazilian Archbishop Helder Camara, once said that
many have become atheists because they have become disillusioned by
people of faith who do not practice what they preach. The witness of
the woman led her community to believe in Jesus because her brothers
and sisters saw coherence between her words and her own transformation.
spring of living water, Make of us witnesses of unity through both our
words and our lives. Help us to understand that we are not the owners
of the well, And give us the wisdom to welcome the same grace in one
another. Transform our hearts and our lives so that we might be genuine
bearers of the Good News. And lead us always to the encounter with the
other, as an encounter with you. We ask this in the name of your Son
Jesus Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
QUOTES AND PHOTOS FROM EACH DAY
Sun 18th: It is necessary to go through Samaria (Jn 4:4)
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
week is a privileged moment for prayer, encounter and dialogue. Jesus
made the choice to travel through Samaria. Maybe this week we can reach
out to people who are different in small ways in our own lives.
When news of the religious wars in France reached St Teresa, she was
stirred to pray for the good of the Church and all people. Today we are
impressed by the set of guidelines for Muslims that have been published
here in Ireland by the Islamic Educational and Cultural Centre. For
example: "As Irish citizens we must not allow tragic incidents of Paris
for hate to creep into our hearts. Muslims, non-Muslims and people of
all backgrounds must come together and show unity and solidarity and
not let it divide our communities".
Let us pray also for persecuted Christians in Iraq, Syria and the Holy Land who are suffering grievously.
The Christian Unity display in our chapel this week, with a Brazilian
theme and a lamp which will burn continuously for the 8 days. Note the
small statue of Our Lady of Aparaceda to the right. It was a gift to us
from a Brazilian friend!
Mon 19th: Tired of the journey, Jesus sat down facing the well (John 4:6)
Rev. Katherine Meyer, United Methodist/Presbyterian Church, Sandymount
Today in many places, and especially at
local level, there are wonderful things happening ecumenically speaking. I’m
sure we all know that and I’m sure many of us are involved in them.
the one thing that binds all Christian traditions together most undeniably and
most embarrassingly today, is that we are mostly living within parish and
congregational structures that are simply no longer working well, or at all. They
are broken. And more than that, most of us, while wanting to remain deeply
rooted in the living traditions of the Church, don’t want to spend time trying
to fix something that needs - not to be fixed - but to be re-created.
of course, the Spirit’s work, but in the meantime perhaps the gift of the
Samaritan woman to us in this week is her testimony that those who embrace what
life has made them, and do not try to cover it up, have a powerful apostolic
witness to bear. She calls us to have her guts, and to say clearly: “I have no husband… don’t ask me to
apologise, but if you are seeking the One who will proclaim all things to us,
then come and see…”.
A messed up life and a complicated story which are
nevertheless being brought into the harvest of eternal life, are and always
will be our best witness and testimony to the truth of the Gospel.
Tues 20th: Journeying with St Teresa towards Christian Unity
Rev. Robert Opala OCD, Carmelite Community, Oxford, UK
the necessity of reforming the church, St Teresa could easily stand
together with many Protestant reformers of the 16th century. And there
is something that Teresa shared with those reformers: the centrality
and sovereignty of Christ in his church. In other words, we can say
that Teresa's reforms, as much as Luther's reformation, were Christ
centred movements that had only one goal: to bring Christ back to his
church. Teresa also stressed the importance and centrality of
Scripture, the Word of God. And this is something that Luther fought
for when he faced the Emperor and the Pope's cardinals. Their respect
for the Word of God was equal and uncompromised.
Teresa of Avila was a mystic and one could say that it was the major
factor that differs her from Luther and other Protestant teachers.
[But] Martin Luther, like Teresa of Avila, may be called a friend of
God, and as a friend of God he would never ignore any opportunity to
enter into a closer relationship with God. And according to a new
interpretation of mysticism, mystical experience does not mean anything
else but a relationship with God. And this is something that was for
Luther an ultimate concern: relationship with God who justifies us
because he loves us.
This approach allows every Christian, whether Protestant or Catholic,
to protest against emphasising only the external character of the Word
of God and the sacraments, and ignoring the inner experience of God's
presence in His Word and sacraments. In this way, even Catholics could
be said to be Protestants! And so we have to move from venerating the
image of the crucified Christ to a living and loving relationship with
the Person of Christ who died on the cross for our salvation."
Wed 21st: Then the woman left her water jar (John 4:28)
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
It is always a temptation to ignore our own
faults and look at the state of the world instead. Like the Samaritan woman we
sometimes feel that our own behaviour is insignificant compared with the big
problems on the national or international scene, yet everyone’s little failures
to love, meanness and lack of tolerance all go to fuel the great international clashes,
just as acts of kindness and love help to bring peace to the world. When we
fail to recognise that all the people in the world are our brothers and sisters
we are adding to the general disharmony out there. In fact it has now been
scientifically proven from DNA that we really are all related, however
A water jar was an expensive and important
object, not something you would leave behind lightly. The fact that the
Samaritan woman left it behind shows just how much impact Jesus had made on
her. John probably mentioned this little detail in his gospel to show the woman’s
sudden change of priorities and the redeeming work of Christ so evident here. Jesus
had promised her living water and this living water was already beginning to
well up within her, so that the thing she had set out to do, that was most
important to her when she left home, suddenly failed to have any significance
for her. Her meeting with Jesus brought and unexpected revelation, but only
because she was open to it; because she was willing to be gifted by this
Picture: The Samaritan Woman by Jyoti Sahi.
Jyoti Sahi was born in India
in 1944. His mother was a Christian from Britain and his father was a
Punjabi Hindu. He is also known for Hindu -Christian dialogue through art.
This picture shows Jesus sitting in a Buddha-like pose. Beside him are two
trees sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism. Jesus pours the living water into the
hands of the woman dressed in Hindu sari. She becomes a living stream for
others (grey/blue colour depicting the flowing stream)
Thurs 22nd: You have no bucket and the well is deep (John 4:11)
Rev. Ian Gallagher, St Brigid's Church of Ireland, Stillorgan
said to her: Give me a drink. In the discourse that follows we hear
Jesus offer her a drink - a drink from living water. Even though the
Gospel doesn't tell us, I am sure that the woman
gave Jesus a drink. They offer each other hospitality. Hospitality is
what we Christians should be all about. Not just to those from our own
community, not just between different denominations, but amongst all
who live among us from different faiths or none.
The past few weeks have been difficult for those of us who have a faith
in God. The horrors of Charlie Hebdo and the Jewish supermarket in
Paris. The burning of churches and people in Niger as a response.
Christian unity is important, but maybe less important than fostering
relationship between different faith. God is important to all of us. We
need to show each other respect and be hospitable to each other.
Fri 23rd: Jesus
said : “The water that I will give will become in them a spring
of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:14)
Rev. Tony Coote Adm., Mount Merrion & Kilmacud parishes
often think that if Jesus came back to earth today, he would be
mystified by all the titles we have given ourselves, except the one he
gave us - followers of Jesus. All the rest, Catholic, Church of
Ireland, Anglican, Methodist,
Pentecostal, whatever... in Christianity - he wouldn't understand it
because he never heard it in his lifetime. He only heard the followers
of Christ in that name given at Antioch in the first century.
We can all learn a lesson from Jesus in his relationship with this
woman, in terms of mutual respect for those who differ from us, a
willingness to listen, a hesitation towards rash judgement and a
realisation that we all share in the good news given to us as a gift by
Jesus Christ. That's the purpose of this week, to serve as a reminder
of our common origin and destination.
Sat 24th: “Give me to drink” (John 4:7)
Reflection by a Carmelite Sister
most obvious and important unifying factor for all Christians is, of
course, Christ Himself. He is our “One Lord”. The more we
look to Him and His example, the more we will grow in unity with each
“Give me a drink”.
At first glance,
these are not words of profound teaching or of great wisdom. They are
ordinary words of neediness, a request for help; words that any person
might use. But because they are words spoken by Jesus, our One Lord,
there is much that we can learn from them.
In these four words we have found an amazing story. We have discovered
that our Lord and Saviour suffers from thirst and fatigue. We have
learned about his compassion and solidarity, His zeal for the salvation
of all people, His courage and freedom in breaking through man-made
barriers. This man, this Jesus, the Son of God is our Christ, our One
Lord – the One that every Christian looks to as Saviour and
In the words of William Barclay, this week of prayer has shown us in a little way: “the beginning of the universality of the gospel; here is God so loving the world, not in theory, but in action”.
Sun 25th: Many believed because of the woman’s testimony (John 4:39)
Mrs. Alex Fromholz, Lay Teacher/Leadership Team, Holy Trinity Church of Ireland, Rathmines
It’s very easy to label, it’s very easy to
criticise, and it’s very easy to be fearful of what we don’t know or what we
don’t understand. But when we’ve lived life with somebody, when we have
personalised them, we have got to know their name, it’s not so easy to dislike
them. We still may not agree, but we can also enjoy them.
True ecumenism is not compromise, it is
being fully Catholic and it is being fully Protestant. It is recognising we
have a common ground, we have a common foundation, we believe in the same
Gospel, we believe that Jesus died, came to save us and rose again. But how we
express our faith can look very different. We are to recognise our common
ground and celebrate our diversity.
There is such beauty in diversity – look at
nature to see how creative our God is… Nature is diversity, and nature and
diversity are to be celebrated!
LINKS TO PREVIOUS YEARS' WEEK OF PRAYER AT KILMACUD
2014: Has Christ been divided?
Speakers: Rev. Ian Gallagher, St Brigid's Church of Ireland, Stillorgan
Dr Geraldine Smyth, Irish School
Rev. Canon Robert Warren, Taney Parish, Church of Ireland, Dundrum
Rev.Tony Coote, Adm., Kilmacud & Mount Merrion Parishes
Rev.Jameson Kunjukunju, Mar Thoma Syrian Church