Marking the Week of Christian unity (January 18-25), the Churches in Jordan lifted up joint prayers for unity, which is dear to the heart of Lord Jesus Christ, on January 24. The prayers were held this year at Al Fadi Evangelical Episcopal Arab Church in Jabal Amman, Amman.
The prayers focused on the texts sponsored jointly by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and the World Council of Churches’ Commission on Faith and Order whose theme for 2022 is, “We saw the star in the east and came to worship Him,” (Matthew 2:2)
The prayers were presided by Bishop Coadjutor of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem Husam Na’oum with the participation of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem His Beatitude Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Melkite Greek Catholic Archbishop of Jordan Joseph Jbara, parish priest of the Coptic Orthodox Church Fr. Antonios Subhi, parish priest of the Armenian Orthodox Church Archimandrite Avides Ibirjian, parish priest of the Maronite Church Fr. Joseph Swede, parish priest of the Syriac Orthodox Church Fr. Benyamin Shim’om, parish priest of the Chaldean Church Zeid Habbabah, and parish priest of the Syriac Catholic Church’s Fr. Tha’er Abba.
In attendance were Chargé d’Affaires of the Apostolic Nunciature in Jordan Msgr. Mauro Lalli, Latin Patriarchal Vicar for Jordan Fr. Jamal Khader, parish priest of the church were prayers were held Canon Fayeq Haddad, a number of priests from various Churches, nuns from the Consecrated Life Associations, public figures, and a number of believers.
After reading verses from the Holy Bible, Bishop Na’oum delivered a spiritual address in which he pointed out that the selected texts lead us towards the coming light to the world, namely the glory of Lord Jesus. Prophet Isaiah predicted the coming of the light of salvation, and Paul gives encouragement to walk towards the light by turning away from the darkness of sin. As for the Biblical text relevant to the appearance of the star, it is an invitation as is the case with the Magi, namely to walk towards the shining star, furthermore God, in His wisdom, used this cosmic event to attract these strangers and nations towards the true light represented by Lord Jesus Christ.
He said: ”The journey of the Magi from the east is similar to the journey or rather journeys we undertake by ourselves, in the midst of a confused, horrified world that lost its direction, so that we seek a sign from heaven to see the true light of God. Here comes the light of the Holy Spirit, through prayer and meditating the word of God that gives us guidance, reassurance and consolation, whether we are individuals or groups. Regardless of the our differences, there is one thing we all agree on, namely the Holy Spirit leads us all towards unity of purpose and full communion, since the essence of our unity is the Lord Jesus Himself, Head of the united Church.
Bishop Na’oum concluded his address by emphasizing the necessity “to be witnesses to the world in our unity with Christ amidst pluralism in worship, spirituality, and language because by our unity in Christ we can only reach our goal, to be in the presence of God the Almighty.” Bishop Na’oum called for unity with prayer and faith “so that Lord Jesus will shed His light on us, because from the holy waters of the River Jordan the light of baptism shone brilliantly to the ends of the Earth.”
The heads of Churches read out texts from the Holy Bible and supplications for cooperation among the various Churches, for dialogue with religions, as well as for work towards the attainment of justice, peace, defending the oppressed, welcoming the refugees and the forcibly displaced, in addition for the civil authorities in Jordan and the Middle East so as follow the path of peace and harmony.
At the end, “Our Father” prayer was recited for Christian unity while Canon Haddad delivered a brief address in which he thanked all those who took part in the prayers for ensuring the unity of the Church and for those suffering as a result of the global political, health, social and economic developments in the world.