Volume 1 No.2 April 1997
Prayers for Church Unity
The Middle East Council of Churches is calling upon us all to participate in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity which begins 18 January 1999. This is an annual tradition observed by Christians throughout the world. It is sponsored jointly by the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity and the Commission of Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.
Unity does not mean the dissolution of one church and its absorption into another. All church "traditions are the heritage of Christ's Church." Unity is love and charity, forgiveness and communion. According to the Holy Father, Pope John Paul II, "the gospel continues to resound with force. It is weakened only by our separation. Christ cries out but man finds it hard to hear his voice because we fail to speak with one accord."
The challenge to reconcile depends upon all of us. We are all being called to work and pray for unity. Even as we pray, we must also learn about and respect each other. We shall never underestimate the power of prayer to bring about unity.
MARI prays for Church Unity just as, upon the night before He died, Our Lord prayed that His apostles be one as He and the Father are One. We pray to realize that our pain and suffering is due to our division. We unceasingly beg God to make us strong and courageous enough to dispel the doubt which stands between us and the Unity which truly shall make us one with Him and according to His will.
Guita G. Hourani