Vicar’s Note & Sunday Reflection

Vicar’s Note: We give praise to God for the consecration of Bishop John Stephens. His grace will serve as Bishop-Coadjutor until the end of February 2021. On Sunday, Feb. 28th, Bishop John will be seated and installed as the 10th Bishop of the Diocese of New Westminster. Please pray for Bishop John as he takes a big step forward to pastor the churches in our diocese. 

Growing in Unity “I am the vine, you are the branches” Jn 15:5a

1 Cor 1:10-13; 3:21-23 | Is Christ divided? 
John 17:20-23 | As you and I are one

Meditation: On the eve of his death, Jesus prayed for the unity of those the Father gave him: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe.” Joined to him, as a branch is to the vine, we share the same sap that circulates among us and vitalizes us. 

Each tradition seeks to lead us to the heart of our faith: communion with God, through Christ, in the Spirit. The more we live this communion, the more we are connected to other Christians and to all of humanity. Paul warns us against an attitude that had already threatened the unity of the first Christians: absolutizing one’s own tradition to the detriment of the unity of the body of Christ. Differences then become divisive instead of mutually enriching. Paul had a very broad vision: “All are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God” (1 Cor 3:22-23). 

Christ’s will commits us to a path of unity and reconciliation. It also commits us to unite our prayer to his: “that they may all be one … so that the world may believe” (Jn 17:21). 

Never resign yourself to the scandal of the separation of Christians who so readily profess love for their neighbour, and yet remain divided. Make the unity of the body of Christ your passionate concern. The Rule of Taizé in French and English (2012), p. 13 

Questions for Reflection 

1. Each Christian tradition endeavours to bring us closer to God, through Christ, in the Spirit. Paul warns us not to use divisions as a way to separate Christ; indeed, Christ has not been divided. How can our differences strengthen our faithfulness? 

2. The imagery in John 15:5 of a vine and branches is a powerful one. Take some time to reflect on what that vine-and-branches imagery might look like in or for your community. Is it different across communities? 

3. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the interconnectedness of our lives – for example, the crucial importance of migrant farm workers, workers in food delivery and grocery stores, and other food industry workers, for our safety and well-being. How do our choices affect the lives of others? 2021 

From: Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Canadian resources Biblical Reflections and Prayers

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