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"And taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people." "And taking the five loaves and the two fish, He looked up to heaven and said a blessing and broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples to set before the people."  (© BAV, Barb.lat.711)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Biblical reflections Day 6

We bring you the sixth in a series of Biblical reflections for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which has been jointly prepared by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the Commission on Faith and Order of the World Council of Churches.

DAY 6: WELCOMING OTHERS

“Go and bear fruit, fruit that will last”
(Jn15:16b)

Gen 18:1-5 – Abraham hosts the angels at the Oak of Mamre
Mk 6:30-44 – Jesus’ compassion for the crowds

Meditation

When we let ourselves be transformed by Christ, his love in us grows and bears fruit. Welcoming the other is a concrete way of sharing the love that is within us.

Throughout his life, Jesus welcomed those he met. He listened to them and let himself be touched by them without being afraid of their suffering.

In the gospel account of the multiplication of the loaves, Jesus is moved with compassion after seeing the hungry crowd. He knows that the entire human person must be nourished, and that he alone can truly satisfy the hunger for bread and the thirst for life. But he does not wish to do this without his disciples, without that little something they can give him: five loaves and two fish.

Even today he draws us to be co-workers in his unconditional care. Sometimes something as small as a kind look, an open ear, or our presence is enough to make a person feel welcome. When we offer our poor abilities to Jesus, he uses them in a surprising way.

We then experience what Abraham did, for it is by giving that we receive, and when we welcome others, we are blessed in abundance.

It is Christ himself whom we receive in a guest.

The rule of Taizé in French and English(2012) p.103

Will the people we welcome day after day find in us men and women radiant with Christ, our peace?

The Sources of Taizé (2000) p. 60

Prayer

Jesus Christ,
we desire to welcome fully the brothers and sisters who are with us.
You know how often we feel helpless in the face of their suffering,
yet you are always there ahead of us
and you have already received them in your compassion.
Speak to them through our words, support them through our actions,
and let your blessing rest on us all.

23 January 2021, 15:45