Every year Graymoor Ecumenical & Interreligious Institute (GEII) promotes Christian Unity by gathering Christians from many groups that are willing to engage in an interreligious dialogue. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 2017 took place from January 18th to the 25th, and the theme was “Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us” (2 Corinthians 5:14-20).
The theme was intended to reflect on the main concern of the churches marked by Martin Luther’s Reformation and to recognize the pain of subsequent deep divisions which afflicted the Church. The meeting, therefore, was an opportunity to take steps towards reconciliation, which is a gift from God given for all of creation.
The Shalom Catholic Community was invited by Natalia Pelicano to gather and share its charism at Holy Name Church last Saturday, January 21st. The meeting started with lunch and right after there were workshops on Christian Unity. During the liturgical four-choir service, each leader of each institution participated in some way. Boston Cardinal Seán Patrick O’Malley gave a reflection about our mission to be sent out, like the disciples were, to preach the kingdom of God to the ends of the earth. The Cardinal reinforced that they had gathered together to humbly ask for forgiveness for those trespasses that contributed to divisions in the body of Christ, that is, the church.
Through Christ, God was reconciling the world, therefore, we should pray for the healing of the divisions in the church. As a result of God´s mercy, reconciliation in Christ pushes us to proclaim His love in words and deeds, as it is written in Psalm 98: “Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds”.
After the talk, there was a Mission and Volunteer Fair where Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Evangelical groups could talk about their work to those who wanted to learn more about different Christian backgrounds or had any questions.