Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: February
For a generous welcome of the victims of human trafficking, of enforced prostitution, and of violence..
Which is better: a paper cup that you use once, or a metal mug that you drink from again and again? The decision is clear. Reusable goods are better for the environment and cheaper in the long run.
What about people? Is it better to use someone once and then toss them aside, or to use them again and again? What?! Humans should not be treated like objects. We rightly feel confused and horrified by this example. But it happens everyday. There is a name for this modern crime: human trafficking.
People continue to be bought and sold in the world today. Prostitution and pornography are among the chief culprits. Or perhaps a young man is promised a big paycheck and citizenship in a wealthy country; all he must do is work in landscaping for a few months. Years later, he continues his backbreaking work–with just a few bucks in cash and a steady stream of lies and threats. He is trapped in a cycle of deception and oppression.
Pope Francis uses the term “throw away” culture to describe this dark side of our modern economy. He writes, “Today everything comes under the laws of competition and the survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed upon the powerless…Human beings are themselves considered consumer goods to be used and then discarded. We have created a ‘throw away’ culture which is now spreading” (Evangelii Gaudium, 53).
In stark contrast, we see the example of Jesus. He stands up for the woman trapped in adultery and sets her free. Jesus shows us that we are not objects. We are beloved sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father.
Source: Apostleship of Prayer
Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: January
That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.
The world ushers in a New Year each January, so named after the Latin word for “door”: we stand on the threshold of another Year of Our Lord. It is the world’s New Year; as a Church we’ve already celebrated the new liturgical year with the First Sunday of Advent, a season in which we prepared for the coming of the New Man. December is a month of celebrating something new—a child!—while the world around us sees only what is old, thinks only about the past year. Now the world looks to the New Year and we, instead, look to Mary: we thus begin with the great Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God on January 1st.
Mary guards the threshold of the world’s New Year, she who is hailed as the “gate of heaven, star of the sea”: she through whom the Son of God entered into a dying humanity. The world shouts “Happy New Year” while we say “Hail Mary!” Why? In Advent we prepared for the birth of Christ, and now we prepare to go out into the world and echo the message of the angels: “…a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord” (Luke 2:10-11). We now look to another year of living our faith in a world that increasingly resists the joy of the Gospel, which says there is no room for the Son of God. We ask Mary, who emptied herself that she might contain the living Word of God, to make room in us, that like her we might bear Christ into the world. Mary bore Christ with her wherever she went; this year let us do likewise.
Source: Apostleship of Prayer