‘Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’
The Prayer of the Church offers God’s people this prompt today, ‘Our help is in the name of the Lord, who made heaven and earth.’ God created heaven and earth and God’s help is always available to those who desire and seek it. Everyone needs help from time to time. During this time of Covid, people were never more in need of help. Sometimes a person needs to ask for help in a situation. At other times people take the initiative to help. In our relationship with God a person just has to believe and ask God in faith to help. God promises to answer our prayers in the way God sees best.
In his Encyclical Letter Fratelli Tutti, Pope Francis entitled Chapter 5, A Better Kind of Politics. He explains ‘the development of a global community of fraternity based on the practice of social friendship on the part of peoples and nations calls for a better kind of politics, one truly at the service of the common good’ (no.154).
In the Pope’s concern for the vulnerable he sees governments and politicians neglecting their needs, through unjust political structures and creating situations of poverty by ‘promoting an economy that favours productive diversity and business creativity.’ The Pope is always advocating for those who live in poverty because he recognises Jesus mission was to the most neglected and those who lived on the margins of society. He calls his disciples to continue this mission.
In the Word proclaimed at Mass today (Heb 2:5-12), the faithful hear that God appointed Jesus to be in command of everything. In the world we see that such a power of being in command of everything can be abused. God knows that the reign of God brings justice for the poor, the eradication of poverty, the dignity of the human person and the defence of human rights. God desires for all his children (God calls us children because we are heirs) to be with Jesus in heaven at God’s right hand. In order for that to happen they must go through the suffering as Jesus did on the cross. God saw it fitting that Jesus would die on the cross. By suffering, the Christian discovers the love of the Father for the Son. God called Jesus our Saviour and Redeemer.
In the world people experience suffering like Jesus did on the cross. Christians are asked to take up their cross as Jesus did. Suffering and the cross take different forms in life; maybe at this time enduring sickness or bereavement due to Covid, or when we feel rejected, ignored or slighted by people. God is always present in situations of suffering. Jesus knows our suffering because of his personal experience of suffering. He offers us a shelter in his heart and wants to give us strength in our weakness and comfort in our sorrow.
St Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) on his reflection on the Cross said that ‘the cross provides an example for every virtue…charity, patience, humility, obedience’ and love for discipleship.
In the Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé Religious Education programme at every level, families accompanying their children in faith can read Bible stories showing Jesus’ compassion towards people who were sick, suffering and those who experienced any form of poverty. Families can also read how Pope Francis and the Church teaching continually invites people to defend the dignity of every person by upholding human rights. Sometimes this did not happen in history and today human dignity is still not upheld as Jesus desires.
The Good News is that VERITAS PUBLICATIONS are granting free access to the Grow in Love series during this time of pandemic.
TO PRAY (from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé)
ST PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE
Christ be with me,
Christ be beside me,
Christ be before me,
Christ be behind me,
Christ be at my right hand,
Christ be at my left hand,
Christ be with me, wherever I go,
Christ be my friend forever and ever.
Críost I mo dhiaidh.
Críost ar mo lámh dheas.
Críost ar mo lámh chlé.
Críost I mo chuideachta is cuma cá dtéim.
Críost mar chara agam, anois go buan. Áiméan.
TO READ (from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé or the Bible)
Sr Anne Neylon