The Australian Church celebrates the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity from 16 to 23 May. The National Council of Churches in Australia has provided the following reflections to use throughout the week.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2021 was prepared by the Monastic Community of Grandchamp. The theme that was chosen, “Abide in my love and you shall bear much fruit”, is based on John 15:1-17 and expresses Grandchamp Community’s vocation to prayer, reconciliation and unity in the church and the human family.
Day 5: Letting oneself be transformed by the Word –
“You have already been pruned by the word…” (Jn 15:3)
Deuteronomy 30:11-20 The word of God is very close to you
Matthew 5:1-12 Blessed are you
The Word of God is very close to us. It is a blessing and a promise of happiness. If we open our hearts, God speaks to us and patiently transforms that which is dying in us. He removes that which prevents the growth of real life, just as the vine grower prunes the vine.
Regularly meditating on a biblical text, alone or in a group, changes our outlook. Many Christians pray the Beatitudes every day. The Beatitudes reveal to us a happiness that is hidden in that which is unfulfilled, a happiness that lies beyond suffering: blessed are those who, touched by the Spirit, no longer hold back their tears but let them flow and thus receive consolation. As they discover the wellspring hidden within their inner landscape, the hunger for justice, and the thirst to engage with others for a world of peace, grows in them.
We are constantly called to renew our commitment to life, through our thoughts and actions. There are times when we already taste, here and now, the blessing that will be fulfilled at the end of time.
Pray and work that God may reign. Throughout your day let the Word of God breathe life into work and rest. Maintain inner silence in all things so as to dwell in Christ. Be filled with the spirit of the Beatitudes: joy, simplicity, mercy. – These words are recited daily by the Sisters of the Grandchamp Community
Blessed are you, God our Father, for the gift of your word in Holy Scripture. Blessed are you for its transforming power. Help us choose life and guide us by your Spirit, so that we can experience the happiness which you want so much to share with us.
These resources are based on the international material for the 2021 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity produced by the World Council of Churches. They have been adapted for use in Australia by the Faith and Unity Commission of the National Council of Churches in Australia.
With thanks to the National Council of Churches in Australia.