“[God] comes to visit us with his mercy, to lift us from the dust of our sins; he lends us a hand in rising from the abyss into which our pride has made us fall.”
– Pope Francis
Each year the Holy Father asks for our prayers for specific intentions each month. This month we pray for Comfort for the Afflicted: That all those who are afflicted, especially the poor, refugees, and marginalised, may find welcome and comfort in our communities
The World Day of Prayer for the Sick falls on 11 February
COMFORT FOR THE AFFLICTED
Once, Pope Francis asked where God is if there is evil present in the world; if there are people who are innocent but suffer hungry, lonely, homeless, and as exiles. He then answered, “‘God is in them’. Jesus is in them; he suffers in them and deeply identifies with each of them.” As Jesus embraced the “wood of the cross” He embraced the suffering of all. So when we welcome those who suffer, we welcome Him. When we are called to serve Him in all those who are marginalised in society, it is there we “find our God; there we touch the Lord.” But if we were to ignore them, the Pope says we are denying even Christ himself.
“In the face of evil, suffering and sin, the only response possible for a disciple of Jesus is the gift of self, in imitation of Christ; it is the attitude of service.”
SCRIPTURE & REFLECTION
Matthew 25: 31-46
Neither group saw Jesus in the hungry, sick, and strangers, but one group had a heart like Jesus that was moved by suffering. The other group had hard hearts and Jesus said that there was no room in his heavenly kingdom for those with hard hearts. By their “sins of omission” they ended up “omitted.”
How am I challenged to reject sins of omission?
1 Corinthians 12: 12-26
The Body of Christ consists of Jesus, the Head, and all the baptised, parts who are joined to him. Thus, “if one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it.”
How do I find myself suffering when I see suffering in the world?