WPCU 2024: Day 1

A lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “What must I do to
inherit eternal life?” (Lk 10:25)

Help us, Lord, to have a life turned towards you

Additional scripture passages
Romans 14:8-9
Psalm 103:13-18


“What must I do to inherit eternal life?” This crucial question asked of Jesus by a lawyer challenges every believer in God. It affects the meaning of our life on earth and for eternity. Elsewhere in the Bible, Jesus gives us the ultimate definition of eternal life: “… that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent” (Jn 17:3). Knowing God means discovering and doing the will of God in our lives. God’s dream for us (cf. Jn 10:10) finds powerful expression in the words of Saint Irenaeus: “The glory of God is a human being fully alive”. Violence, greed and exploitation distance us from one another and from Jesus as “the Way” that leads us to the Father, our ultimate destiny. Speaking from a society that has been torn apart and traumatised by violence and identity-based conflict for the last eight years, the churches of Burkina Faso offer us a message of hope in the promise of  Christ’s all-embracing love.


The reality of life in Burkina Faso may be very different from our own, but we can identify significant parallels in the challenges facing Christians in each context. Consider the following reflection offered by Church leaders in Ireland: “In our approach to the past we have a moral responsibility to acknowledge the corrosive impact of violence and words that can lead to violence, and a duty of care to those still living with the trauma of its aftermath… Christ’s teaching, ministry and sacrifice were offered in the context of a society that was politically divided, wounded by conflict and injustice… In these encounters, as exemplified in the meeting with the Woman of Samaria (Jn 4:1-42), we see that Christ does not seek to minmise differences but rather to establish connection through gracious listening, replacing exclusion and shame with the hope of new beginnings.” (Church Leaders’ Ireland Group, In Christ We Journey Together, 17 March 2021

Go and do

Personal: Think of an example from the news that illustrates a society wounded by conflict. Research how Christian churches are responding. How can this be applied in your context?

Local: Consider sharing the theme from this year’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity with members of other faith communities in your local area, reflecting on the connections between the local and global contexts. What more can your communities do to bring issues of global justice into our local inter-faith dialogue?

Global: Christians gathering to worship and witness in parts of Burkina Faso have been attacked and murdered, and the threat of violence continues to oppress and scatter that community. As we gather in this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, pray for all those facing religious persecution in Burkina Faso and other parts of the world.

Original source: WPCU 2024