Saturday, 22 January 2011

A Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A Matthew 4:12-23

In this week's Gospel "Come, follow me," we hear that Jesus had already begun to establish a ministry – he was already out and about preaching a message of repentance. He was picking up where John the Baptist had been forced to leave off. By the time he walked past the fishing boats of Peter and Andrew, James and John, it is reasonable to suggest that his reputation, or at the very least this new message of the Kingdom of God had preceded him. When he called Peter and Andrew, “come, follow me” he was not an unknown preacher just strolling by. Like the society we live in there would have been at varying degrees of awareness of Christ, and hopefully we who hear it today are open to his call. As he walked along and more and more people began to follow him, people of varying backgrounds and religious traditions, all for a time unified in the Word.

Some who followed were Apostles, some disciples, some curious, and many who lost interest and went back to what they were doing. All were called by Christ, all are called by Christ. Some follow.

We pray for Christian Unity. Christ knew, Christ knows that we are stronger together, and he calls different people of different backgrounds and practices together to one central way of living a life of repentance, of anticipation of the kingdom of God, and a life lived in service of God through the service of others. That’s how society will know us apart from those who haven’t heard or believed the word, that’s how we share one unity in Christ. All that is different between us seems so petty, and small and meaningless when together we follow the one who calls us each by name when he says, “Come, follow me.”

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