Updated: Mar 5, 2022
Every year, the Ecumenical Churches and Christian communities throughout the world celebrate the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. This year, the celebration began on 18 January 2022, and will conclude on the Feast of The Conversion of St Paul on 25 January 2022. The Church invites us all to pray during these eight days, in response to Jesus’ prayer, that “they may be one” (John 17: 21).
Christians from across the globe are diverse. Although we come from different backgrounds, cultures and traditions, we continue to strive for unity, solidarity and being in communion in the One Body of Christ and to keep our gaze fixed on Him – “Our Lord and Our God” (cf. John 20:28). Let us work together to “pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding” (Rom 14:19) of our faith in Jesus Christ. We give our support to one another in order to promote Christian unity and pay Him homage.
The theme for The Week of Prayer this year is “We saw the Star in the East and we have come to worship Him” (Mt 2: 27).
Like the Magi who came to Bethlehem and paid homage to the Infant Jesus, we too are invited to come and worship Him during the Eucharistic celebration. Since the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic in our country, many Catholics have not returned to Church to fulfill their Sunday and other days of obligation. It is time for us to make our journey back to Church and pay homage to Christ Jesus and rejoice in Him, as the Magi did in Bethlehem. Let us take every opportunity to pursue God’s will so that He may lead our Christian communities with righteousness and holiness.
This weekend, the Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, the Universal Church celebrates the Sunday of the Word of God. The first-ever celebration was held on 26 January 2020. The Holy Father’s intention of inaugurating this Sunday celebration was to encourage all Catholics throughout the dioceses in the world to “study, learn and love the Holy Scriptures.” It is very important for us to know our Sacred Scripture and the Word - for it to dwell richly in the soil of our hearts - so that we may believe what we read, teach what we believe and practice what we teach.
The Word of God is close to us, indeed, “the Word is very near to you: it is in your mouth and in your heart for your observance,” (Dt 30:14). The Word of God is not beyond our reach nor distant from us. Therefore, we must discipline ourselves by reading and reflecting on the Word of God every day. When we choose to do so, the Word will take flesh in our hearts and will beautify our journey of faith and way of life.
We are still in the beginning of the year, and if we have not yet cultivated reading, studying and praying the Word of God daily, then we need to begin today! As we celebrate the Word of God Sunday, let us make a sincere commitment and discipline ourselves in welcoming the Word of God closer to our hearts, so that His word will illuminate the darkest areas of our lives. May His word dwell among us, always!