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This article was published in the January 1996 issue of The Journal.

Knocking at the Door

Gianni and Myriam were asked to address the Italian Secretariat for Ecumenical Activities at its meeting in Mendola, Trent, in August 1995, on the text chosen for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in 1996: Here I stand, knocking at the door (Rev.3: 14-22).

Their theme was the eagerness of our Lord to come in and eat with us all, if only we will open the door and invite him to the Table which is his own. They finished by speaking of the special need of interchurch families to share communion - a "special need which only emphasizes its urgency for all Christian people".

"Sometimes we are asked how we survive. As we end we will make our confession, conscious of our hesitant faith, our weakness, not claiming to suggest a recipe. For years we have-been questioning, confused, uncertain, involved in the conflict between love and law, desire and generous impulse and human respect. Some twenty years ago we read of a French child, son of an interchurch couple, receiving his First Communion in his Catholic parish. He was perturbed by the thought that his mother, a Protestant, would not be able to share communion with him. Making a decision all by himself, he kept a fragment of the Host he received and brought it unobtrusively to his mother. In our communities we do not want to arouse gossip, criticism, scandal. So when we are together at Mass or the Lord's Supper, we act according to the teaching of that unknown child. The one of us who is a guest in the celebrating community will remain seated and receive a fragment of Bread from the other one who has free access to the Table. We are still finding our way like a child. Christian initiation should never stop. Jesus himself suggested we should become like little children. He knows that this unobtrusive sharing does not mean a weaker witness. It is just that we are trying to find a frail, modest way forward in this time which is still separating us from the day of the common Table of all Christians ....

"Lord, as the bread we break was formerly spread over the fields as wheat, and gathered together to become one, so your Church be gathered from the ends of the around your one Table."

This article was published in the January 1996 issue of The Journal.