(This is Neil)
Theme: Witness through Faithfulness to the Scriptures
Text – Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us? (Luke 24:32)
Isaiah 55:10-11 The word that goes forth from my mouth does not return to me empty
Psalm 119:17-40 Open my eyes that I am may see the wonders of your Law
2 Timothy 3:14-17 All scripture is inspired by God
Lk 24:28-35 Jesus opens the Scriptures to His disciples
Christians encounter God’s Word in a privileged way through reading the Sacred Scriptures and celebrating the sacraments. In faithfully listening to the proclamation of Holy Scripture, and by prayerfully reading the various books of the Bible, they open their hearts and minds to receive the very Word of God. Jesus promised His disciples that He would send the Holy Spirit to make them understand the Word of God, and to guide them in all truth.
Historically, Christians have been divided in reading and understanding the Word of God. They often used the Bible to emphasize their disagreement rather than to find ways for reconciliation. Fortunately, in recent times, in their search for unity, Sacred Scripture has brought Christians closer to one another. Shared Bible study has become a major means of growing together among them. The Christian journey that we celebrate during this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is one that is firmly rooted in our shared listening to God’s Word, trying together to understand and to live it.
The prophet Isaiah reminds us that God’s Word powerfully proclaimed is indeed effective and operative. It does not return to God empty but succeeds in the purpose for which He sent it. This message is repeated in the words addressed to Timothy, as he is directed to believe in the efficacy of the Scriptures by which the faithful are equipped for every good work.
Our psalm gives praise for God ‘s words and statutes and implores God to give understanding, that we may keep the Holy Law with our whole heart.
During this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity we pray that all Christians may enter more deeply into the mystery of God’s wonderful revelation as it comes to us in Holy Scripture. We beseech the Holy Spirit to help us better comprehend the Word of God and to direct us on our common journey of faith until we will all be gathered again around the one table of the Lord.
God, we praise and thank you for your saving Word as it reaches out to us through the Sacred Scriptures. We thank you too for the brothers and sisters with whom we share your Word and discover together the abundance of Your love. We pray for the light of the Holy Spirit, so that Your Word may lead and direct us in our quest for greater unity.
1. What are the passages of Scripture that mean most to you?
2. Who or what in your life makes your heart burn with a passion for the gospel and a desire to give witness to Christ?
3. Which passages from the Scriptures have helped you to better understand the witness of other Christians?
4. How may our churches use the Scripture more effectively in their daily life and prayer?
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