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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: JUNE

That priests, through the modesty and humility of their lives, commit themselves actively to a solidarity with those who are most poor.

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Jesus institutes the Sacrament of Priesthood at the Last Supper, when He gave His Body and Blood to His Apostles. Every Catholic priest looks on this moment as the foundation of that ministry in which he has a share. Jesus very consciously chose to make clear this institution’s inner meaning by performing an extraordinary act of humility and love at that same meal. Jesus washed the Apostles’ feet.

Peter’s reaction shows the radical humility of Jesus’ choice. “You shall never wash my feet.” Jesus’ action contradicted Peter’s expectations of the relationship between a teacher and disciple. He perceived how much Jesus was putting off His glory, as it were, and demonstrating clearly that He “came not to be served, but to serve.” Jesus’ self-effacing posture is directly linked to the meaning of the Eucharist – to His Body, which is given up for us. Jesus’ gift did not stop at washing the Apostles’ feet; no, He would walk willingly to the Cross for all of them, for all of us – poor, abandoned, and unattractive in the world’s eyes.

Every priest is called to make his own Jesus’ words, “This is my Body which is given for you,” not only during the Eucharist, but in every aspect of life. Jesus’ every act was coherent with what He preached, and His giving Himself in the Eucharist totally harmonious with His own self-emptying for all. Jesus puts aside His glory, becomes a servant to the Apostles, and – in doing so – in an astonishing way reveals who He is. For a priest, as for all Christians, the gifts of modesty, humility, and poverty come through the Paschal Mystery, in which Christ became a servant and called us to do the same.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: May

That the Church in Africa, through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.

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In the final years of preparation before the year 2000, St. John Paul II addressed the Church in Africa in the document Ecclesia in Africa and urged them to remain rooted in hope amid such turmoil.

“I exhort all God’s People in Africa to accept with open hearts the message of hope…Despite the mainly negative picture which today characterizes numerous parts of Africa, and despite the sad situations being experienced in many countries, the Church has the duty to affirm vigorously that these difficulties can be overcome. She must strengthen in all Africans hope of genuine liberation. In the final analysis, this confidence is based on the Church’s awareness of God’s promise, which assures us that history is not closed in upon itself but is open to God’s Kingdom. Therefore, there is no justification for despair or pessimism when we think about the future of both Africa and any other part of the world.”

However bleak the situation may get in Africa, the Church firmly believes that she can be a sign of hope in the darkness, uniting together all those of good will to work together for the greater good of humanity. The future is not yet written and does not have to be filled with sadness. Through the power of God, the joy of the Gospel can penetrate even the hardest of hearts.

This month, may we join our prayers to the Holy Father and pray for the Church in Africa, that through the commitment of its members, may be the seed of unity among her peoples and a sign of hope for this continent.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer