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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: MARCH
That Christian communities, especially those who are persecuted, feel that they are close to Christ and have their rights respected.
In the Church, God gives the gift to the whole human family of the possibility of being close to Jesus Christ. The Church extends in time and space the mission of Jesus while he walked the earth for our salvation, by offering us the chance to hear his words of forgiveness, be anointed with the oil of his Spirit, and to receive his Body and Blood. By being drawn into the life of the Church, especially the Sacraments, we are enabled to feel close to Jesus, to know his loving presence and action in our lives.
Yet, many Christians with whom we share faith in Jesus live in societies in which they are not free to approach the nearness of God in the Church or in which they run great risk for doing so, even their very lives! It may be difficult to understand that martyr Churches still exist today, not only in the Church’s history, especially if we are accustomed to relative freedom in practicing our faith in our own lives. Yet, in many places in the world our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ suffer today and give them-selves up to marginalization, loss, and even death for their faith in the risen Lord.
These communities have special need of our tender support and love. May our own efforts help these communities experience freely the nearness of the Lord in the Church; and until that moment comes through cultural change, may they feel the consoling nearness of God by knowing that we, their family in Christ, labor so that their rights, especially that of religious freedom, are respected.
Source: Apostleship of Prayer
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