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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.

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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

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: december

That people, who are involved in the service and transmission of faith, may find, in their
dialogue with culture, a language suited to the conditions of the present time.

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The last instruction given at every Mass is a missioning to the people of God to “Go in peace glorifying the Lord by your life.” By prayerfully and actively participating in the Mass, we encounter the Lord through the Eucharist and, moreover, tradition tells us that we enter the one eternal heavenly liturgy with all the angels and saints in one chorus of exultant praise of God. Such a transformative experience gives rise to knowledge of God borne of religious love, a fundamental definition of the theological virtue of faith. Faith, however, isn’t knowledge to be mused about or held to for private use. Rather, faith is a virtue of mission. Faith takes flight and is vivified when shared, spread, given away. The Mass sends us out into the world to share the knowledge received in the presence of God. St. Peter, at the transfiguration, was corrected by Jesus in that he could not stay on top of that mountain with Jesus. Rather, they had to descend and carry out the mission of spreading the knowledge of God gained through the divine encounter. The same applies to us at the end of Mass.

This month, as we prepare for the coming of the Lord into our world, God the Father sends His Son out of love, a sharing of His very self with us; let us consider the ways in which the Christian mission is about imitating the love of the Father. If our faith is authentic and rooted in love, then we are to share this faith by glorifying the Lord through our lives, in our homes, communities, workplaces, with our culture, and throughout the world.

Source: Apostleship of Prayer

 

 

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