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Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25

Week prayer for Christian Unity 2023: “Do Good; Seek Justice” Isaiah, 1:17

From 18 to 25 January 2023, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated. It is an ecumenical initiative held annually between the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter and the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul.

Christians from all over the world belonging to different traditions and confessions, gather spiritually in prayer for the unity of the Church.

The theme for 2023, “Do Good; Seek Justice”, comes from the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, 1:17.

Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity of the Vatican and Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches have jointly prepared and published the text of the Week of Prayer 2023,  with biblical texts, reflections and prayers for the week.

PDF File

The theme is promoted by a joint commission of the World Council of Churches and the Holy See’s Dicastery for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

It comes from the Minnesota Council of Churches as its offering to the world prayer movement in response to the injustice experienced by people of color in the United States and the whole world, demonstrated by the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in 2020.

This diversity of the group that drafted the resource has allowed for a profound reflection and an experience of solidarity enriched by many different perspectives, in the hope that their personal experience of racism and denigration can serve as a testimony of the inhumanity that the children of God can show themselves capable of towards their neighbor. And with the deep inner desire that, as Christians who embody God’s gift of unity, we address and eradicate the divisions that prevent us from understanding and experiencing the truth of the common belonging to Christ.

The theme, taken from the first chapter of the Book of Isaiah, reflects his concern for the oppressed who suffer from injustice and inequality fed by hypocrisy that leads to disunity. He teaches that God requires righteousness and justice from all of us, to create the peace and unity that God desires. These virtues originate in God's love for all, and racism runs counter to this vision.

God’s will to create a new humanity “out of every nation, race, people, and tongue” (Rev 7: 9) calls for the peace and unity that He has always wanted for creation.

Isaiah's challenge to do good and seek justice together applies equally to us today. How can we live our unity as Christians to face the evils and injustices of our time? How can we engage in dialogue and grow in mutual awareness, understanding, and sharing of lived experiences?


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