Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, March 17, 2022
You are the heart of Christ
Jesus knew what awaited him on the days when he voluntarily went to the Passion. He had prepared his disciples for it. He himself had presented himself as ” gentle and humble in heart” calling to him those who are burdened and overwhelmed to lighten the burdens under which they groan. The blow to the heart of Jesus is a blow to divine love, to the immense compassion that causes God to come to earth.
It is indeed with a heart full of love that Jesus teaches the crowds to give them new hope. It is with this heart that he heals the sick, soothes the suffering, that he gives his flesh and blood as food so that those who taste it may have eternal life, that he deliberately places himself in the hands of the priests to offer his life as a ransom. It is with this heart that he dies on the cross and descends into hell to free men from their enslavement to death […].
It is out of love that God creates the world, out of love that he molds the creature in his image and likeness, out of love that he washes the feet of his disciples, for they must be not submissive servants, but friends of their Master. In the heart of Jesus is summed up the whole mystery of salvation.
Extract of : Michel Evdokimov, Ouvrir son cœur, Desclée De Brouwer, 2004, pp. 130-131
Prepared by the brothers and sisters in Saint Sulpice de Favières, France.
To be used as appropriate
1/ In the diocese of Evry, a statement was made by the Sainte-Geneviève Orthodox Seminary of Epinay-sous-Sénart, where Russians and Ukrainians have lived in harmony for more than a decade. It says, “We believe that it is peace and not war that establishes justice. And conversely, we see in any declaration of war a progress of injustice. We believe exclusively in the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, and for this we profess not to believe in any human empire […]. »
Let us pray for an end to the fighting, the bombardments, and the destruction. Let us pray that forgiveness will restore peace between two brotherly peoples. Let us pray that the voice of peacemakers will be heard by the authorities and that they will put an end to this bloody war.
2/. As Pope Francis reminds us in his Lenten message, “Faced with the bitter disappointment of so many shattered dreams, faced with the anxiety in the face of the challenges that await us, faced with the discouragement due to the poverty of our means, the temptation is to withdraw into our own individualistic selfishness and take refuge in indifference to the sufferings of others.
Let us pray that we can continue to look to Christ in all circumstances, to ask God to forgive us, to do good and to share.
3/ In March 2021, the French bishops gathered in Plenary Assembly voted a series of 11 resolutions, the 8th of which responds to the invitation of Pope Francis to live a day of prayer for the victims of violence and sexual assault and abuse of power and conscience within the Catholic Church. This Memorial Day will take place on the third Sunday of Lent and will have as its theme: “Witnesses for a new life”.
Let us pray for all those who have been victims of violence and sexual assault within the Church. Lord, come to heal the wounds, come to heal the hearts, come to restore the damaged people: that in the trials, they can always lean on You and feel Your presence at their side.