The theme for the 2018 International Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is: Your right hand, O Lord, glorious in power (cf. Exodus 15:6).
We continue with day 5 of the biblical reflections from the official handbook, which was drafted this year by the Churches of the Caribbean. (You can download it here.)
Deuteronomy 1:19-35 (The Lord God goes before you and carried you)
Psalm 145:9-20 (The Lord upholds all who are falling)
James 1:9-11 (The rich will disappear like a flower in the field)
Luke 18:35-43 (Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!)
The Caribbean economies have traditionally been based on the production of raw materials for the European market and so have never been self-sustaining. As a Consequence, borrowing on the international market became important for development. The requirements of such borrowing impose a reduction of spending on transport, education, health and other public Services, which impacts most severely on the poor. The Caribbean Conference of Churches has launched an initiative to address the current debt crisis in the region and through their international networks to come to the aid of the poor.
We can imagine the noise of the crowd as Jesus enters Jericho. Many voices shout down the cry of the blind beggar. He is a distraction and an embarrassment. But through all this tumult Jesus hears the blind man’s voice, just as God always hears the cries of the poor in the Hebrew Scriptures. The Lord who upholds the falling not only hears, he responds. Thereby, the beggar’s life is radically transformed.
The disunity of Christians can become part of the world’s tumult and chaos. Like the arguing voices outside Jericho, our divisions can drown out the cry of the poor. However, when we are united we become more fully Christ’s presence in the world, better able to hear, listen and respond. Rather than increasing the volume of discord, we are able to truly listen and so discern the voices that most need to be heard.
Loving God, you lift up the poor and distressed and restore their dignity. Hear now our cries for the poor of our world, restore their hope and lift them up, that all your people may be one. This we pray in Jesus name.