The octave of January 18 – 25 is celebrated every year as the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. During these eight days, Christians around the world are called to pray for the greater visible unity of Christ’s Church.
The theme for this year’s Week of Prayer is “We saw the star in the East, and we came to worship him” (Matthew 2:2). Prepared by the Middle East Council of Churches, this theme connects well to the Synodal journey of communion, participation and mission that was begun by Pope Francis in October.
Cardinal Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and Cardinal Grech, General Secretary of the Synod of the Bishops, reflected together on the theme:
“Like the Magi, Christians too journey together (synodos) guided by the same heavenly light and encountering the same worldly darkness. They too are called to worship Jesus together and open their treasures. Conscious of our need for the accompaniment and the many gifts of our brothers and sisters in Christ, we call on them to journey with us during these two years [of the Synod] and we sincerely pray that Christ will lead us closer to Him and so to one another.”
The Cardinals have also shared a prayer that can be used during this Week and in the future to pray for unity and for the Synod. Together with Christians in every land, we pray:
as the Magi journeyed towards Bethlehem led by the star,
so by your heavenly light,
guide the Catholic Church to walk together with all Christians during this time of synod.
As the Magi were united in their worship of Christ,
lead us closer to your Son and so to one another,
so that we become a sign of the unity that you desire for your Church and the whole creation.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.