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That All May Be Free

Christian Unity Week 18th – 25th January 2018

Fr La shares his reflection on this year’s theme, ‘That All May Be Free’;

‘This year’s theme is inspired by the experience of Christians of the Caribbean area.

As usual, an ecumenical team of women and men were invited to draft the resource material.  The Caribbean group based its theme on the Song of Moses and Miriam in Exodus 15, highlighting the verse: Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in its power. The resources relate this text to the Caribbean experience of slavery, colonialism and liberation. The 8 day prayer cycle includes themes of human dignity, the modern day slavery of human trafficking, economic injustice and family life, among others.

The theme calls us to bring into sharp focus the urgency to tackle injustice, poverty, trafficking and discrimination.  We will not be surprised that these issues are close to the heart of Pope Francis, and find strong and urgent expression regularly in his homilies and catecheses, as well as more extensive treatment in his letters The Joy Of the Gospel and Laudato Sí.

Closer to home, as we pick up on the week’s theme ‘That All May Be Free’, we are challenged to consider our manner of welcoming the stranger into our midst. We might also ponder what positive action we can embrace to lend our weight to the movement towards eradicating global injustice in a world where we are conscious of loud voices that continue to perpetuate prejudice in the most offensive terms.  This is a far cry from the words we will hope to hear from Jesus: ‘I was a stranger and you welcomed me’ (Matt 25. 31-46). To encounter a stranger in a spirit of respect and welcome is to open our hearts to another, to allow ourselves the possibility to see in the other the face of Jesus and to take a step, however humble, across the barriers of injustice and separation.

Each year Christian Unity Week offers the Lough Derg family and friends of Lough Derg an opportunity to begin some preparation for a special retreat day on the Island ‘A Day of Friendship and Prayer’. On Wednesday 16th May 2018, at Lough Derg we will host our 14th Ecumenical Day where people from the various Christian Churches come together to share their faith journey. This year the theme of the day is ‘Meeting Jesus, Sharing Jesus’ and as brothers and sisters we reach out a hand to one another in unity of purpose based on shared commitment to the Person and the Way of Jesus.’

Resources for Christian Unity Week can be found here https://ctbi.org.uk/week-of-prayer-for-christian-unity-2018/

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