January Taize: Prayer for Christian Unity


The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated every year, from January 18-25. Millions of Christians of all denominations offer the prayer that Jesus himself prayed to his Father, “That they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us, that the world may believe that you sent me” (John 17:21.

At the Last Supper, Jesus prayed that all of us would be united in him. Jesus suffers over any divisions among his Father’s children, just as any of us would suffer over our own children if they were estranged from one another.

Unity is a concern for all of us! We must reach across denomination divisions and pray with one another. We will have a local Ecumenical Prayer Service in Liberty on January 18. Tonight’s Taize Prayer Service anticipates that prayer.

Reflection on the Good Samaritan Parable

Through these words — “Go and do likewise” — Jesus sends each of us, and each of our churches, to live out his commandment to love. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, we are sent out to be “other Christs,” reaching out to suffering humanity in compassion and mercy. Like the Good Samaritan towards the injured man, we can choose not to reject those who are different, but instead cultivate a culture of proximity and goodwill.

How does Jesus’ invitation to “Go and do likewise” speak to my life? What does this call of Christ imply for my relationships with members of other churches? How can we charitably bear witness together to God’s love? As ambassadors for Christ, we are called to be reconciled to God and to one another, for fellowship to take root and grow in our churches and in areas affected by inter-communal conflict.

As mutual trust and confidence increase, we will become more willing to reveal our wounds, including ecclesial wounds, that Christ’s love may visit and heal us through each other’s love and care. Striving together for Christian unity helps rebuild relationships, so that violence can give way to solidarity and peace.

Closing Prayer

God of love, who writes love in our hearts,
instill in us the courage to look beyond ourselves
and see the neighbor in those different from ourselves,
that we may truly follow Jesus Christ,
our brother and our friend,
who is Lord, for ever and ever.



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