Pope Francis Missionary Intention
"That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world." Let us pray.
In his Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis wrote: "In virtue of their baptism, all the members of the People of God have become missionary disciples. Every Christian is a missionary to the extent that he or she has encountered the love of God in Christ Jesus."
Pope Francis goes on to claim that our 'missionary nature' cannot be ignored: "What kind of love would not feel the need to speak of the beloved, to point him out, to make him known? If we do not feel an intense desire to share this love, we need to pray insistently that he will once more touch our hearts. We need to implore his grace daily, asking him to open our cold hearts and shake up our lukewarm and superficial existence."
So we now pray together with Pope Francis that this year's celebration of World Mission Day (Oct. 19th.) will set our hearts on fire. We pray that we might carry the Good News of the love of Jesus into every corner of the world through the witness of our daily lives, our on-going prayer, and by our support for Missionary endeavours of the Church.
May our hearts be moved to be generous in our daily witness and our support for the Church's evangelization efforts around the world.
2 Corinthians 5: 14-15. The love of Christ urges us on.
Pope Francis General Intention
"That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence." Let us pray.
The Holy Father has always admired St. Francis of Assisi, "the man of peace", and in turn has taken upon himself the same mission of promoting peace. This month he invites us to join him in praying for peace in the most troubled areas of our world.
In September 2013, Pope Francis spoke at a prayer vigil for peace in Syria saying that in as far as humanity had tried to put itself " … in God's place, all relationships are (as a consequence) broken and everything is ruined."
"We have perfected our weapons," said the Pope, "… [but] our conscience has fallen asleep." He asked that humanity turn again to the crucified Christ: "How I wish that all men and women of good will would look to the Cross if only for a moment! In the silence of the Cross, the uproar of weapons ceases and the language of reconciliation, forgiveness, dialogue, and peace is spoken."
More recently, Pope Francis invited the Presidents of Israel and Palestine to pray with him in the Vatican Gardens. Before praying he told them: "Peacemaking calls for courage, much more so than warfare. It calls for the courage to say 'yes' to encounter and 'no' to conflict; 'yes' to dialogue and 'no' to violence."
But such courage is beyond our own power, for "the evil one" subverts all efforts at peace. "We know and we believe," the Pope continued, "that we need the help of God. We do not renounce our responsibilities, but we do call upon God."
Isaiah 11: 1-9. On God's holy mountain there shall be no harm or ruin because the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Lord.
Health worker explains to families the dangers of Ebola in a class-room now used as an isolation unit in Monrovia, Liberia.
Symptoms of the Ebola virus start 2-21 days after being contracted, with fever, a sore throat, muscle pain and headaches. Typically, vomiting, diarrhoea and a rash follow, along with decreased liver and kidney functions. At this point affected people may begin to bleed both internally and externally.
The virus may be acquired upon contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected animal, especially the fruit bat. Once human infection occurs, the disease can be identified after diseases with similar symptoms (e.g. malaria, cholera and other viral fevers) are excluded and blood samples are tested for viral antibodies, viral RNA, or the virus itself.
Prevention - the best option since no ready vaccine or cure exists - requires checking certain animals for infection and killing and properly disposing of their bodies if the disease is discovered, cooking meat properly and wearing protective clothing when handling meat, and of course wearing protective clothing and washing hands when around a person with the disease.
Efforts to help those who are infected by Ebola are supportive and include giving either oral rehydration therapy (slightly sweet and salty water to drink) or intravenous fluids. The disease has a high risk of death, killing between 50% and 90% of those infected. Ebola was first identified in the Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976 and this most recent outbreak is the largest to date affecting Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Nigeria.
The Catholic Church, with its many clinics and health centres in these West African countries, is in need of supplies (medical and non-medical), trained personnel and prayers. It also fully endorses a much wider call for action - action at a global level - in order that the very real risk of the death for well over a million people may be avoided.
Prayer of the Month
Lord God of peace, hear our prayer! We have tried so many times and over so many years to resolve our conflicts by our own powers and by the force of our arms. But our efforts have been in vain. Now, Lord, come to our aid! Grant us peace, teach us peace; guide our steps in the way of peace. Instil in our hearts the courage to take concrete steps to achieve peace. (Pope Francis on June 8, 2014)