Office for Christian Unity,
Thursday, December 8th, 2022
Hope for eternal life
To hope is something very concrete: it is to believe that God makes us capable of eternal acts. That when we love, this love is not just a beautiful feeling in a tide of absurdity doomed to death, but a window that we open on eternity. For these eternal acts, these acts that we can do and whose fruit is eternal, are of course the acts of love, the only ones that count. They are the ones that build, in our world already, eternity, the Kingdom of God.[…]
To hope, in practice, is not only to believe that we are capable of eternity: it is to live preferring eternity to everything else, putting the eternal first, before the urgent, before everything else that seems so important at the moment. To hope is to accept to adopt the perspective of eternity: not a cold and distant perspective, but rather the perspective of love. How our lives would change if we knew how to order our priorities according to the weight of eternity of our actions: ambition, the desire to earn money, the desire to be recognised would very quickly find themselves at the bottom of the pile. We would discover that baking a cake for a lonely neighbour who will enjoy it, builds up far more eternity than its weight of flour, eggs and sugar would suggest.
Veilleur, où en est la nuit ? Petit traité de l’espérance, Adrien CANDIARD,
(Watchman, where is the night? A short treatise on hope)
Editions du Cerf, Paris, 2016, pp. 72-74
Prepared by the brothers and sisters from Notre Dame du Roucas (Marseille, France)
To be used as appropriate
1/ The ecumenical delegates of the different Churches in the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region met last week in Marseille.
We pray that these meetings between leaders will be supported and strengthened by fraternal encounters between Christians of different denominations.
2/ On Sunday 22 January 2023, the Sunday service of the French television channel ‘France 2’ will be broadcast from Marseille with an ecumenical celebration at the Greek Orthodox Church of Saint Irenaeus.
We pray in particular for the preparations for this celebration with the Orthodox Churches and all the Eastern Churches present in Marseilles. May they be an opportunity to renew the bonds of brotherhood and closeness between us.
3/ On November 30, the feast of the Apostle Andrew, patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, Pope Francis wrote a letter to Patriarch Bartholomew in which he recalled the need to re-establish “communion between all believers in Jesus Christ”. He also welcomed the progress made in this direction by the Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
We bless you Lord for the work done together with the Orthodox Church in pursuing the common good. Continue to guide the steps of those who collaborate in the safeguarding of creation, the defence of the dignity of each person, the fight against modern forms of slavery and the promotion of peace