From the official material prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches:
Genesis 1:26-31, God saw all that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.
Psalm 104:1-24, O Lord, how manifold are your works.
Corinthians 15:12-20, If the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised.
Luke 24:1-5, Why do you look for the living among the dead?
Our journey of Christian unity is firmly rooted in our common belief that in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, – we celebrate not only the life God has given us but the offer of new life through Jesus’ conquering death once and for all. As we meet together during this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, we witness to our shared faith by our concern for the life of all.
The reading from the book of Genesis reminds us of the creative power and energy of God. It is this power and energy that St. Paul encounters in experiencing Jesus’ resurrection. He challenges the people of Corinth to put their total trust in the Risen Lord and his offer of new life. The psalm continues this theme as it proclaims the glory of God’s creation.
Our gospel passage challenges us to look for new life in the face of a culture of death that our world frequently presents to us. It encourages us to trust in Jesus’ power, and so to experience life and healing.
Today, we thank God for all that shows God’s love for us: for all of creation; for brothers and sisters in all parts of the world; for communion in love, for forgiveness and healing and for life eternal.
God our creator, we praise you for all who give witness to their faith by their words and actions. In living life to the full we encounter your loving presence in the many experiences you offer us. May our common witness of celebrating life unite us in blessing you, the author of all life. Amen.
To what extent do your own witness and the witness of your church celebrate life? Will others know from your witness that Christ has been raised from the dead? What do you see as the areas of growth in your life? Are there things of the past that the churches cling to which ought to be laid to rest because of a new ecumenical consciousness?