Message sent by Rev. Prof. Dr.Ioan Sauca, Acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. We would like to thank Rev. Prof. Sauca for his support and encouragement for this edition of United World Week. We make ours his urge to be always builders and promoters of unity in everyday life for the whole world.
Greetings to United World Week 2020
Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca
Acting General Secretary
It is a joy for me, as the acting general secretary of the World Council of Churches, to greet and encourage you in your celebration of Unity Week with the resounding Easter affirmation:
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
The worldwide fellowship of churches stands in solidarity with you as we pray for healing and recovery of humanity and all of God’s creation, especially during this time of uncertainty and fear caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In such circumstances, we realize all the more just how united we are as one humanity: we share the same fears, the same challenges, and the same yearning for the well-being of our one human family. Yet, in light of the resurrection of Jesus, we have cause also to share one hope for renewed life, working and walking toward God’s reign of justice and peace.
Focused so clearly on uniting humanity, you, the youth of Focolare, reveal the true breadth and ambition of Chiara Lubich’s vision for the ecumenical movement: not simply to bridge ancient divides among Christians but also to live Christian discipleship in such a way as to heal the world.
You are a gift to our communities. Your passion and desire to change the world inspire and motivate the rest of us as we confront the realities of today. In ways big and small, this generation is stepping up to meet the daunting challenges of climate change, economic inequality, the needs of migrants and refugees. And, as we see today, your generation’s digital expertise leads us in new ways of reflecting and reflecting on our common vision for Christian unity as expressed in Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21.
There Jesus prayed “that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Jesus’ vision is not limited to our Christian family. Rather it is inclusive of all of humanity and of God’s creation.
So, despite uncertainties and fear, ours is also a resurrection time of enormous opportunities to come together and serve one another, sisters and brothers. Jesus’ prayer reminds us that unity grows to serve a greater need.
In John 20:23 Jesus appeared to his self-isolating disciples in a locked room. Jesus assured them, saying, “Peace be with you.” But he didn’t stop there. Imparting peace a second time, he added, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” The task and call to work for peace are clear.
As you begin this Unity Week series in different parts of the world, I invite you to reflect on the words of Jesus in the context of today’s need for unity and peace: how do we live out God’s unity in a hurting world today? As young people, how do we respond to the disparities and needs of the world, so that God’s peace resides in all of humanity and the entire creation?
Geneva, 28 April 2020