Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue
(cf. Deuteronomy 16:20)
By: Fr. Thomas Orians, SA
Associate Director – Graymoor
Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2019 theme has been selected, and finds its origins in Deuteronomy. “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue” (cf. Deuteronomy 16:20) was chosen for its powerful message of promoting truth, equality and unity.
The initial work on the theme for this year’s Week of Prayer was prepared by a group of representatives from different parts of Indonesia, including the Communion of Churches in Indonesia and the Indonesian Catholic Bishops’ Conference. The texts were finalized during a meeting of the International Committee of the Faith and Order Commission of the World Council of Churches and the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Fr. Tom Orians, SA Associate Director of the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute noted, “Every year, Christians across the world gather in prayer for growth in unity. We do this in a world where corruption, greed and injustice bring about inequality and division. We are called together to form a united witness for justice and for Christian Unity that becomes a means of Christ’s healing grace for the brokenness of the world. Only by heeding Jesus’s prayer “that they all may be one” can we witness to living unity in diversity.”
The Christians of Indonesia found that the words of Deuteronomy, “Justice, and only justice, you shall pursue …” (cf. Deuteronomy 16:18-20) spoke powerfully to their situation and needs, and recognized this common need throughout the world.
The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is January 18 to 25. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Servant of God, Fr. Paul Wattson, Founder of the Society of the Atonement, to cover the original days of the Feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25), and therefore have a symbolic significance. Materials for the celebration of the Week of Prayer For Christian Unity 2019 will be available from the Graymoor Ecumenical and Interreligious Institute at a later date to be announced.