2017 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity: Reconciliation: The Love of Christ Compels Us

2016, 8 pp
Given the 500th anniversary of the 1517 Lutheran Reformation, the materials for this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has two accents. On the one hand, there is a celebration of God’s love and grace, reflecting the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation. On the other hand, the materials also recognize the pain of the subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the Church, and offer an opportunity to take steps toward reconciliation.

Pope Francis’ use of the quote “The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Cor 5:14) in his 2013 Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”, Paragraph 9) provided the theme for this year. With this scripture, taken in its fuller context, the committee formulated the 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

This biblical text emphasizes that reconciliation is a gift from God, intended for the entire creation. As a result of God´s action, those who have been reconciled in Christ are called, in turn, to proclaim this reconciliation in word and deed, living no longer for themselves, but for Christ who died for all.

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