Monday of the Second Week of Ordinary Time: Christian Unity

Today’s readings

In today’s Gospel, Jesus is challenging some age-old practices.  He is not saying that fasting is a bad thing, but instead he is saying that something new is going on.  He has come to usher in a new age, and fasting is inappropriate while he is there bringing it in!

Today is the beginning of the annual week of prayer for Christian Unity.  This week we remember that Christ came to found one and only one Church and, sadly, we have messed that up through our own sin and pride.  But this week we also celebrate that some of that is changing.  Slowly, but surely.  Catholics, Lutherans and Methodists are beginning to come to agreement on what “justification by faith” means.  Orthodox and Catholics are beginning to talk about Eucharist and the role of the pope.  Even Catholics and Evangelicals are coming to trust each other more, and have come together in many ways to promote the sanctity of life from conception to natural death.

We still have a long way to go, but these steps are signs of progress.  We focus on what we all believe in: a loving, Trinitarian God, salvation in Christ, the gift of the Holy Spirit, our common Baptism and the promise of everlasting life in heaven.  From these we can begin our prayer for unity, that, as Christ desired, we may all be one.  The bridegroom is among us, even in our fractured state, and doing something new, something wonderful, something life-changing.  There is new wine and new wineskins; for that we can all be grateful.