“Do good; seek justice.”
(cf. Isaiah 1:17)
Theme for 2023 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Announced
By Fr. James Loughran, SA, Director of Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute
The World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity Joint Commission on the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has shared with Graymoor the Scriptural Theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2023.
The theme is from Isaiah 1:17, “Do good; seek justice.” The entire scriptural passage for the theme is Isaiah 1:12-18, lamenting a lack of justice among the People of God. Yet, it also promises redemption by encouraging acts of justice.
The 2023 theme was developed with the assistance of a group of Christians in Minnesota, USA, convened by the Minnesota Council of Churches. Minneapolis, MN became a flashpoint for calls for racial justice and equity during the responses of communities to the George Floyd murder. This received world-wide attention.
In its Introduction to the Theme, the organizers write: “Today, separation and oppression continue to be manifest when any single group or class is given privileges above others. The sin of racism is evident in any beliefs or practices that distinguish or elevate one “race” over another. When accompanied or sustained by imbalances in power, racial prejudice moves beyond individual relationships to the very structures of society – the systemic perpetuation of racism. Its existence has unfairly benefitted some, including churches, and burdened and excluded others, simply due to the color of their skin and the cultural associations based upon perceptions of ‘race’.”
Calling to mind our common Christian commitment to justice and mercy, we pray that the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, January 18-25, 2023 will be full of moments of conversion of heart through our ecumenical encounters, so that “all may be one.”