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Sunday, January 27, 2002

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3rd Sunday Ordinary Time

Isaiah 8:23—9:3
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 17
Psalm 27
Matthew 4:12-23

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christian unity

"Has Christ, then, been divided into parts?" —1 Corinthians 1:13

"I beg you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to agree in what you say. Let there be no factions" (1 Cor 1:10). We have been baptized into one body (1 Cor 12:13). We are members of the body of Christ (Rm 12:5). If we fail to recognize other Christians as members of Christ's body, we eat and drink a judgment on ourselves when we receive Holy Communion (1 Cor 11:29). Because of our disunity, our Communions are not authentic, and may cause many to become sick, weak, or even to die (1 Cor 11:30). God's plan is to make us all one under Christ's headship (Eph 1:10). Disunity is therefore intolerable.

During this week of prayer for Christian unity, decide to:

  1. repent. What we have done to continue disunity or have not done within our power to bring about unity is sinful.
  2. pray daily. Jesus prays daily for unity (see Jn 17:21). His disciples should do the same.
  3. have faith. Although most people have given up on unity after so many centuries of disunity, we must believe that "nothing is impossible with God" (Lk 1:37).
  4. evangelize. The more united we are to Christ, the more united we will be with each other.
  5. stir up the Spirit (2 Tm 1:6). The Spirit is the Source of our unity (Eph 4:3).

Prayer:  Father, may Christians be one as You and Jesus are one (Jn 17:21).

Promise:  "A people living in darkness has seen a great light. On those who inhabit a land overshadowed by death, light has arisen." —Mt 4:16

Praise:  Praise the risen Jesus, our Joy, Hope, Life, and Love!

Nihil Obstat:  Reverend Robert L. Hagedorn, May 30, 2001

Imprimatur:  †Most Reverend Carl K. Moeddel, Vicar General and Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, June 4, 2001