3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time – Jan 22, 2023



A university student announced to his mother, “Mom, I’ve decided that I’d like to be a political science major in school because I want to clean up all the messes in the world.” “That’s very admirable,” replied his mother. “You can go upstairs and start with your room!”

Yes, whenever we have something to complain about, it’s best that we need to tune into ourselves — to make sure that our own witness is authentic and that we practice what we preach.

One of the messes that our church is partly responsible for is the disunity among Christian denominations that have creeped up and infected the One Church of Christ over the millenia of the church’s existence. Such disunity keeps the beautiful song of the Gospel from singing into the hearts of would-be believers.

We’re part of the problem if….

  • we don’t support steps that attempt to overcome the obstacles that divide us and the theologies that separate us from one another.
  • if we just leave it to the pope and bishops to take the initiative to heal the wounds that fester and sore on the body of Christ, the Church.

Ecumenism, coming from the Greek word “oikoumene,” means “the whole inhabited world.”

  • Used to describe our church’s efforts to promote cooperation and unity among all Christians of different denominations.

“There can be no ecumenism worthy of the name without interior conversion.” (Unititis Redintegratio Ch 2. # 7) esp. for Clergy! (promulgated in 1964)

Intro to the decree states, “the restoration of unity among all Christians is one of the principal concerns of the Second Vatican Council.” (#1)

(Changes that V II brought about to be more ecumenical.)

Division is not what Jesus wanted. He wanted a church that….

  • would be One!
  • would united in faith, in morals, and teaching!
  • would witness to the world, the mystical body of Christ —living, active and

breathing in our world and transforming the world, more and more into the

Kingdom of God by our love and care for all persons!

St. Paul saw divisions among Christians even in his own lifetime. Paul remarks, “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in agreement and there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same purpose.” (1 Corinthians 1: 10)

He the rhetorically points out, “Each of you says, “I belong to Paul or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas or I belong to Christ. Has Christ been divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptize in the name of Paul?” (1 Cor 1: 12-13)

Ways we remove divisions and restore Unity:

  • Prayer individually! Prayer as a Church! Prayer in common! Looking at our worship space and priorities from the vantage point of another Christian or non-Christian.

(Promote event on Tuesday Jan 24th @ 3pm, Grace United Church)

  • Dialogue! With the Scriptures, historical circumstances and events leading to disunity, official joint statements that unite us, each church’s understanding of B.E.M. —with other RC’s, with other Christians
  • Common Projects! Finding opportunities to work together on a project that witnesses to the world core gospel values —- social justice, peace in the world, environmental stewardship, sharing places of worship! (give examples from the past)

Leave you with…..“Before the whole world, let all Christians confess their faith in God, one and three, in the incarnate Son of God, our Redeemer and Lord. United in their efforts, and with mutual respect, let them bear witness to our common hope which does not play us false. Since cooperation in social matters is so widespread today, all people without exception, are called to work together. With much greater reason, is this true of all who believe in God, but most of all, it is specially true of all Christians, since they bear the seal of Christ’ name.” (Unitatis Redintegratio Ch 2 #12)




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