WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY
JANUARY 18–25, 2021
ART POSTER: Commentary on Art Piece
Thoughts on the Poster Art for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, 2021
By Fr. James Loughran, SA
Created by our friends and conceptual and graphic artists at Fuzati, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity poster in 2021 speaks loudly about the scriptural theme, “Abide in my love… you shall bear much fruit” (John 15:1-17). Plump and juicy grapes, giving nourishment and joy to the world, explicitly emphasize the metaphor Jesus uses when he says “I am the vine and you are the branches.” Jesus is the cause and center of Christian unity, no matter which branch we may find ourselves part of. Each branch, made healthy and true by the power of the sap of the Holy Spirit bears good fruit for the sake of the Gospel and the world.
Yet those branches cannot exist separately. We would wither and die, producing shriveled fruit that would never be appealing to the senses. The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, especially after the anguish of Covid-19 and other events of 2020, reminds us all of the need to be attached fully to the vine of Christ and become his body, the Church. We know that the sin of Christian division has no basis in the truth. By our diversity we show the many faces and cultures of Christianity, but by our divisions we only sow doubt, confusion and competition. The one vine is surely an excellent description of how we can abide in Christ’s love.
Almost as a background fading out, the words of the theme are woven into the fabric behind the grapes. The Word of God gives us encouragement, hope and strength as we begin 2021. Abide… my love…bear…much fruit. Another word for abide is remain. Can we remain in Christ’s love and thus bear much fruit if we never pray together? Remaining or abiding in his love powerfully enables us to love one another. Again, the branches reach out in different directions but they are all rooted in the everlasting Word of God. And that word is clear: do not succumb to rivalries and factions, but seek justice and peace together. With one united voice the Gospel is indeed so very powerful. The Gospel liberates the soul and assures of God’s grace. This is our fruit for the world. May it be plump and juicy!