Day two: for the Church and clergy
"Simon Peter said in reply, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.' Jesus said to him in reply, 'Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father. And so I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.'" Matthew 16, 16-19
Teaching of St. John Paul II:
"We need to bring the Gospel of life to the heart of every man and woman and to make it penetrate every part of society.
This involves above all proclaiming the core of this Gospel. It is the proclamation of a living God who is close to us, who calls us to profound communion with himself and awakens in us the certain hope of eternal life. It is the affirmation of the inseparable connection between the person, his life and his bodiliness. It is the presentation of human life as a life of relationship, a gift of God, the fruit and sign of his love. It is the proclamation that Jesus has a unique relationship with every person, which enables us to see in every human face the face of Christ. It is the call for a "sincere gift of self" as the fullest way to realize our personal freedom.
It also involves making clear all the consequences of this Gospel. These can be summed up as follows: human life, as a gift of God, is sacred and inviolable. For this reason, procured abortion and euthanasia are absolutely unacceptable. Not only must human life not be taken, but it must be protected with loving concern. The meaning of life is found in giving and receiving love, and in this light human sexuality and procreation reach their true and full significance. Love also gives meaning to suffering and death; despite the mystery which surrounds them, they can become saving events. Respect for life requires that science and technology should always be at the service of man and his integral development. Society as a whole must respect, defend and promote the dignity of every human person, at every moment and in every condition of that person's life." Encyclical Evangelium Vitae, § 81, 3/25/1995.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta
Saint Teresa of Calcutta was beatified by John Paul II, then canonized by Francis. She always displayed the love of Christ for the most vulnerable, the most fragile, no matter their religious affiliation. She lived daily, along with her sisters Missionaries of Charity, what John Paul II described in Evangelium Vitae.
Today, we pray for the Church, may she remain faithful in her function of guidance in our world, always emphasizing the dignity of every person, from conception to natural death. May the Church enlighten us and protect us. May our Holy Father, the bishops, the priests and the consecrated be bold witnesses of the risen Christ by the sanctity of their action, living what they preach, at the image of Sts. John Paul II and Teresa of Calcutta.
Let us pray for the priests, may they be apostles of Mercy, which God offers to every man seeking forgiveness of sins, as 'where sin increased, grace overflowed all the more.' (Romans 5,20)
Saint John Paul II, pray for us.
Picture: John Paul II and Mother Teresa in Calcutta, February of 1986.
Take a moment to treasure up all these things and ponder them in your heart (cf Luke 2,19)
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer everyone. Col 4:6