(This is Neil. I’m back. You can find the readings, commentaries, and prayers for the entire week here. Please pray with me.)
The Church in Jerusalem
Joel 2:21-22, 28-29 I will pour out my spirit on all flesh
Psalm 46 God is in the midst of the city
Acts 2:1-12 When the day of Pentecost had come
John 14:15-21 This is the spirit of truth
The journey of this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, at the beginning of the Church’s own journey.
The theme of this week is “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.” The “they” is the earliest Church of Jerusalem born on the day of the Pentecost when the Advocate, the Spirit of truth descended upon the first believers, as promised by God through the prophet the Joel, and by the Lord Jesus on the night before his suffering and death. All who live in continuity with the day of Pentecost live in continuity with the earliest Church of Jerusalem with its leader St James. This church is the mother church of us all. It provides the image or icon of the Christian unity for which we pray this week.
According to an ancient eastern tradition, the succession of the church comes through continuity with the first Christian community of Jerusalem. The Church of Jerusalem in apostolic times is linked with the heavenly Church of Jerusalem, which in turn becomes the icon of all Christian churches. The sign of continuity with the Church of Jerusalem for all the churches is maintaining the “marks” of the first Christian community through our devotion to the “apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of the bread and the prayers.”
The present Church of Jerusalem lives in continuity with the apostolic Church of Jerusalem particularly in its costly witness to the truth. Its witness to the gospel and its struggles against inequality and injustice reminds us that prayer for Christian unity is inseparable from prayer for peace and justice.
Almighty and Merciful God, with great power you gathered together the first Christians in the city of Jerusalem, through the gift of the Holy Spirit, defying the earthly power of the Roman empire. Grant that, like this first church in Jerusalem, we may come together to be bold in preaching and living the good news of reconciliation and peace, wherever there is inequality and injustice. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who liberates us from the bondage of sin and death. Amen.
- Amoris Laetitia 147: God Loves the Joy of His Children
- Amoris Laetitia 146: Emotions That Deepen
- Amoris Laetitia 145: What We Do With Our Emotions
- Amoris Laetitia 144: The Emotions of Jesus
- The Armchair Liturgist: Blessing New Hymnals
- Amoris Laetitia 143: The World of Emotions
- Amoris Laetitia 142: Passionate Love
- Against Comfort
- Amoris Laetitia 141: Dialogue With Substance
- Amoris Laetitia 140: Love, Not Fear
Vatican II pages
Susan on Funeral Lectionary: John … Dick Martin on Open Thread on Accounts and… Anne on The Armchair Liturgist: Blessi… Liam on The Armchair Liturgist: Blessi… Liam on Amoris Laetitia 142: Passionat… Liam on Amoris Laetitia 142: Passionat… Liam on Against Comfort Liam on Against Comfort Katherine on Against Comfort Liam on Against Comfort
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