peaceThe week of Christian Unity frequently does not start on a Sunday! It is always January 18-25 — so this coming third Sunday of Ordinary Time is right in the middle in of Christian Unity Week. This special week always ends on the feast of the conversion of St Paul (January 25). This year, an extra recognition of Christian Unity week is that 2017 is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, begun by Martin Luther. The third week of Ordinary Time ends with the feast of Thomas Aquinas on January 28, the saint who dialogued with partner scholars from Islam. Meanwhile, Pope Francis has been working through diplomatic channels to bring into unity the Chinese Catholic underground Church and the state recognized Chinese Catholic Church. He also has been in dialogue with the Patriarchs of Eastern Orthodox Catholicism. Reconciliation is the theme of this special week, and it also is a theme in our scripture readings on Sunday January 22. These readings also give us a central motif of Jesus that all Christians can unite around: the kingdom of the Lord – that state of peace, justice and love for which all religious people long. Join me in praying for unity in our Christian family this week and in using as our prayer mantra the words all Christians pray: Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

– Blog entry by Sister Mary Garascia

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