This week (between the feasts of St Peter and St Paul), marks the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Given this occasion, the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches have jointly provided some material which we have summarized and are happy to share with you, our benefactors every day – over the coming week.
Day 1: Proclamation
Prayer: God of all peoples, teach us to go through Samaria, to meet our brothers and sisters from other confessions. Allow us to go there with an open heart, so we may learn from every confession and culture. We confess that you are the source of unity. Grant us the unity that Christ will for us. Amen.
The Gospel of John (John 4:4) recounts Jesus’ journey through Samaria, a territory that Jews tried to avoid for its negative reputation given its mix of races and religions. “Going through Samaria” means that it is necessary to meet the other, the different, the one who is often seen as a threat. In this passage John makes it clear that Jesus is reaching beyond his people, which shows that relating only to people like ourselves isolates and impoverishes us. It is the dialogue with those who are different that makes us grow.