Evangelization Intention - Christian Unity
That Christians of diverse denominations may walk toward the unity desired by Christ.
Because there are obvious divisions among Christians, the world has trouble believing in Jesus. Thus, part of evangelization—spreading the Gospel—is work and prayer for unity. At the Last Supper Jesus prayed to the Father that Christians “may all be one…so that the world may know” that the Father sent him (John 17: 20-23). This unity among Christians must be visible so that the world can see and believe.
Pope Francis is deeply concerned about the disunity of Christians. He said that “conflict, tension, and division” hurt the Church “and so the Church does not have the face we should like her to have; she does not express love, the love that God desires.”
He went on to say, “if we look at the divisions that still exist among Christians, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, we are aware of the effort required to make this unity fully visible.”
We cannot overcome the divisions on our own. “Our unity is not primarily a fruit of our own consensus or of the democracy in the Church, or of our effort to get along with each other; rather, it comes from the One who creates unity in diversity… The Holy Spirit is the mover. This is why prayer is important. Pray to the Holy Spirit that he may come and create unity in the Church.”
And so this month, but especially during the annual Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, we pray with Pope Francis that the Holy Spirit may make us one as Jesus and the Father are one—so that the world may believe.
(for more on the Christian Unity Week, visit Resources)