J.M.J. This Sunday, January 18th, is the beginning of the annual Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. We pray, as Jesus prayed to His Father during the Last Supper, "that they may all be one" (Saint John 17:21).
Yesterday, on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, I was reminded of the divisions that separate Christians.
As requested, I went to a Catholic facility to offer the Holy Mass, after which a Protestant service was held. When eyeing the Nativity scene, a lady who came for the Protestant service commented out loud: "They (the Catholics) still have the Christmas decorations."
It was appropriate on the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord--the last day of the Christmas Season--that "we" still displayed "the Christmas decorations."*
When I think of the disunity among Christians, I tend to fixate on doctrinal matters. But what about the Sacred Liturgy?
Communal prayer differs greatly among Christians. This in itself is a cause for profound sadness. Where is our unity?
This is not a time for chest-pounding among Catholics who may think that we have it right and "they" don't have it at all.
We should pray as Jesus prayed to His Father: "that they may all be one."
Holy Mary, Mother of Unity, pray for us.
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*One of the most extraordinary churches in our Diocese, Sacred Heart Church in Aberdeen, was as beautifully decorated yesterday as it was on Christmas Eve. The celebration of the Sacred Liturgy occupies the front-and-center attention of that Parish's Pastor, the Very Reverend Shane D. Stevens, as well as that of his Parochial Vicar, the Reverend Melvin T. Kuhn, Ph.D.