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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: february

We pray that the cries of our migrant brothers and sisters, victims of criminal trafficking, may be heard and considered.

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Knock knock

“Who’s there?”

This is a familiar format for a children’s riddle. You knock, I ask, you reply.

It’s based on a simple action– someone knocks on my door and I ask, “Who is it?”

Is this a stranger? A friend? A criminal? Who is knocking?

We’re right to be curious. And it’s ok to ask questions. But should we automatically be suspicious? What if this is a friend, or someone who needs my help?

This February, Pope Francis asks us to hear the cries of migrants. After all, we shouldn’t bolt the door until we know who is knocking, right? He writes, “Every stranger who knocks at our door is an opportunity for an encounter with Jesus Christ, who identifies with the welcomed and rejected strangers of every age” (Pope Francis, Message for the 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees).

After the birth of Jesus, Mary and Joseph fled to Egypt with their child. They escape from King Herod who searches for the child “to destroy him” [Matt 2:13]. After this danger passes, the Holy Family returns to their homeland. They were refugees only temporarily. Perhaps they knocked on an unfamiliar door seeking shelter. Imagine Joseph offering to work in exchange for food and housing. Knock knock. “Who’s there?

Modern migration is a complex issue. A humane response requires compassion, wisdom, and cooperation from citizens, churches, police, and government leaders. If we shut our ears and lock the doors of our hearts, then we will never hear the cries of the poor seeking protection and opportunity. Jesus says, “I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Who is knocking at our door? How will we respond?

Source: Apostleship of Prayer - Fr. Joseph Laramie, SJ

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: January

We pray that Christians, followers of other religions, and all people of goodwill may promote peace and justice in the world.

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This month we are praying that the gift Jesus promised us will spread over all the world. The Holy Father invites not only Christians to pray with us, but followers of other religions and all people of goodwill. We are praying for peace as well as for justice.

“Peace I leave with you, peace is my gift to you.” (Jn 14:27) The peace that Jesus gives brings se-renity and freedom: The Hebrew word for peace, is shalom. In the translation of the bible into Greek it became eirene, which includes a sense of wholeness, completeness, success, fulfillment, harmony, security and even well-being. Still Jesus warned: “I do not give as the world gives.” His peace is otherworldly, and may await us in our heavenly reward. Still we labor here to establish the kingdom.

The Holy Father desires that his prayer intentions be directed towards “the challenges facing hu-manity.” As such they are of interest to people of other cultures, countries and even religions. The desire for peace and justice is deeply seated in the hearts of all men and women of goodwill and for this the Holy Father welcomes the cooperation of all.

What about justice, what does it look like? A wise Jesuit, Fr Earl Weis, SJ once challenged me when discussing social justice: “Are you talking about man’s justice, or God’s?” It was a great question and caused me to pray for justice on a entirely new plane. May God’s peace and justice reign in our hearts, be established here on earth, and await us in the kingdom of heaven.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer