Pope Francis' monthly prayer intentions for April 2017

THE POPE'S MONTHLY PRAYER INTENTIONS

April 2017

Pope's Prayer Intention -Young People: That young people may respond generously to their vocations and seriously consider offering themselves to God in the priesthood or consecrated life.

Urgent Intention - Landslide Victims: Victims of the landslide in Colombia and peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Venezuela, and Paraguay.



Reflections on the Pope's Monthly Intentions

This time of year many young people are thinking about graduation and preparing for their next step in life—high school, college, or work. Pope Francis asks us to keep them in mind as they consider their vocation.

Most people think of a “vocation” as something that priests, and religious sisters and brothers have. But every baptized person has a vocation, a divine call to love and serve God. At baptism we were changed. We became members of the Body of Christ, the Church. This membership is unlike being part of a human association. It is organic and divine. Grace flows through the parts of the Body of Christ and each part, in one way or another, has the responsibility to be a healthy member of the Body and to build up the Body.

It’s common, when considering the future, to think only in terms of our own personal preferences. We tend to leave God and his desires out of the picture. Pope Francis wants us to pray with him that young people will pray about their futures and be open to serving God in the priesthood and consecrated life.

This is so important to Pope Francis that the next Synod of Bishops, which will meet in 2018, is entitled “Young People, Faith, and Vocation Discernment.” In a letter to young people about the next Synod he wrote: “I wanted you to be the center of attention because you are in my heart. I invite you to hear God’s voice resounding in your heart through the breath of the Holy Spirit.”

Then, referring to Jesus’ response to his first disciples who, when asked where he was staying, said “Come and see” (John 1: 38), the Pope said: “Dear young people, have you noticed this look towards you? Have you heard this voice? I am sure that, despite the noise and confusion seemingly prevalent in the world, this call continues to resonate in the depths of your heart so as to open it to joy in its fullness. This will be possible to the extent that you will learn how to undertake a journey of discernment to discover God’s plan in your life.”

May our prayers touch many young people this month and lead them to grow in their faith and ask the question, “What does God want me to do?”

Scripture and Reflection

How is my parish or community helping young people discern their vocation? How am I encouraging and helping young people to discern?

John 21: 15-19 After he rose from the dead, Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” When Peter responded “Yes,” Jesus told him to “tend” and to “feed” his sheep. Love, as St. Ignatius wrote in the Spiritual Exercises, “ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.”

Ephesians 4: 7-16 Diverse gifts and graces are given to individuals to build up the Body of Christ.

For Reflection:

Working Document for the 2018 Synod of Bishops meeting to discuss “Young People, Faith, and Vocation Discernment”: http://saltandlighttv.org/blogfeed/getpost.php?id=73692&language=en

Pope Francis’ Letter to Young People when he presented the working document for the 2018 Synod of Bishops:  http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/letters/2017/documents/papa-francesco_20170113_lettera-giovani-doc-sinodo.html

Pope Francis’ Message for the 2017 World Day of Prayer for Vocations: http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/vocations/documents/papa-francesco_20161127_54-messaggio-giornata-mondiale-vocazioni.html

Apostleship of Prayer