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Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: june

Let us pray for young people who are preparing for marriage with the support of a Christian community: may they grow in love, with generosity, faithfulness and patience.

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Marriage is a tremendously beautiful Christian vocation meant to reflect that eternal and infinite faithfulness that Christ has for His Church (Ephesians 5:32). It is also a vocation, like every vocation, made up of the concrete ups and downs, joys and struggles of every-day life. In order to reach the goal of profound Christian witness in marriage, especially in today’s cultural context, young people need to prepare seriously before entering this call, so that they can live its gifts and challenges faithfully.

If we think of the wisdom of the Church’s practice, we notice that all those moments that introduce us into a vocation are accompanied by formation in the Church’s community. The Sacrament of Baptism is either followed (for children) or preceded (for adults) by serious catechesis; the Sacrament of Holy Orders is only received after many years of training. Those entering consecrated life only pronounce their vows after a special time of formation called “novitiate.” Why should marriage be any different?

Each vocation is a special way of living friendship with Christ. In marriage this friendship shines forth in the life-long commitment between one man and one woman, open to new life in children. Marriage is lived in the community of the new family itself and in the wider community of the Church, a kind of family of families. Every married path is unique, yet they all depend on the virtue of love to grow in that generosity, faithfulness, and patience that make every-day Christian witness possible.

Especially within a cultural context that promotes messages contrary to God’s plan for marriage, let us all help young people prepare to embrace faithfully the deep beauty and adventure of this Christian calling!

Fr. Andrij Hlabse, S.J. – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)

 

Holy Father’s Prayer of Intention: may

Let us pray that those in charge of finance will work with governments to regulate the financial sphere and protect citizens from its dangers.

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The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man in Luke chapter 16 may appear distant to us due to its graphic description of dogs licking the sores of Lazarus. Today, we live in a world in which we do not encounter abject poverty or if we do, we have become desensitized to it. We may recognize the problem, but we feel that the problem is too big for us to solve.

Global prosperity in terms of material wealth is the highest it has ever been in the history of humanity. Technological advances and global trade have created the wealthiest society in terms of cumulative wealth of nations. We have wealth in the stock market, we have comfortable homes, we have a wide choice of food in our kitchens, we have sleek gadgets that entertain us, and we have nice cars to take us around town. Life in the 21st century is a blessing from God.

However, inequality between the rich and the poor has been rising rapidly for the past several decades. More recently, the working-class and middle-class have been squeezed by the economic uncertainties brought by COVID-19, while the upper-class has largely been unaffected. Over the long-term future, technology is forecast to eliminate numerous jobs for the working-class which will further preclude them from participating in the economy. The environment is suffering from our over consumption of resources and lax attitude toward keeping our land, air, and water clean.

At this critical time, we reflect on our role as stewards of God’s creation and as messengers of the kingdom of God. How is God inviting us to live the Gospel message that exhorts us to care for the least among us? How can we model our lives on the lives of the early Christians, who distributed goods fairly among all? How can we be prophetic voices that inspire positive changes in our political and financial systems?

Daniel Mascarenhas, SJ – Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (United States)