On WUCWO Day, let’s remember this year’s intentions: Suffering women in the world.
I. In this year, we have been especially invited, while sharing the table of the Lord, to contemplate the anguish of our suffering sisters.
Today we pray for “all who are being abused, violated, oppressed, and in situations that deprive them of their dignity.
We pray for mothers yearning for adequate, clean drinking water and proper sanitation, sufficient food and health care for their families.
We pray for those struggling for survival, those broken and alienated, refugees and visible minorities experiencing repeated discrimination, bearing the brunt of indifference and oppression.
We pray for the day when women who are equal in ability have equal rights and can live in peace, joy and harmony” (cf. 2017 Intentions).
II. Pope Francis told us (24 March 2014): [...] “It is true, in fact, that also in suffering no one is ever alone because God — in his merciful love for man and for the world — embraces even the most inhumane situations, in which the image of the Creator, present in everyone, is blurred or disfigured. Thus it was for Jesus in his Passion. In Him every human pain, every anxiety, every suffering was taken on out of love, out of pure desire to be close to us, to be with us. And here, in Jesus’ Passion, is the greatest lesson for anyone who wants to dedicate him-herself to serving our sick and suffering brothers.[...] let us keep ever present the flesh of Christ in the poor, in those suffering, in children, also in the unwanted, in those with physical or mental disabilities and in the elderly”.
As WUCWO women, do we always keep present Christ in the suffering? Do we recognise the Passion of Jesus? Do we recognise the flesh of Christ crucified in every suffering person? Do we transmit the love of Christ to each suffering person? Do we feel personally challenged? In our families? In our organisations?
III. On another occasion, Pope Francis said (12 September 2013): “To be good Christians, contemplating the humanity of Jesus, the suffering humanity. In order to witness, in order to be able to give this witness. In order to forgive, contemplate Jesus suffering. In order not to hate the neighbour, contemplate Jesus suffering. To not gossip against the neighbour, contemplate Jesus suffering. It is the only way. Hide your life with Christ in God: this is the counsel the Apostle gives. It is the counsel to become humble, meek and good, magnanimous, kind”.
As WUCWO women, do we give this witness of forgiveness? ¿Of meekness? ¿Of kindness?
IV. “We [...] as individual Christians, are called to welcome our brothers and sisters who are fleeing from war, from hunger, from violence and from inhuman living conditions. All together we are a great supportive force for those who have lost their homeland, family, work and dignity.
[...] let us think about what we can do for refugees. And the other thing is to clothe the naked: what does it mean if not to restore dignity to one who has lost it? Certainly giving clothing to one who has none; but let us also think about the women victims of trafficking, cast onto the streets, or of other many ways of using the human body as a commodity, even that of minors. Likewise, not having a job, a house, a fair wage are forms of nakedness; being discriminated against on account of race, of faith, are all forms of “nakedness”, to which as Christians we are called to be attentive, vigilant and ready to act” (Pope Francis, General Audience, 26 October 2016).
Pope Francis points out various forms of human suffering. There are also many others in which the dignity of the human person is vilified, ignored, trampled.
V. “[...]The moral and spiritual strength of a woman is joined to her awareness that God entrusts the human being to her in a special way. Of course, God entrusts every human being to each and every other human being. [...]concerns women in a special way - precisely by reason of their femininity […]” (Mulieris Dignitatem 30, JPII).
Are we aware of this great responsibility? Of this female mission? God has entrusted us the suffering and we are custodians and sowers of hope. We are called to restore the man, to heal the wounds of the suffering, to tell the world that each person is a gift of God to humanity.
VI. Let us look at Mary, who was by the Cross, accompanying her suffering Son. Let us ask her that every WUCWO woman have a mother's heart similar to her own and that we be executors of her motherhood and transmitters and witnesses of God's love to each one through all our works.
VII. Lectio Divina
1. Read: Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
2. Meditate: ¿What is God telling me in this text?
3. Pray: ¿After reading these words, what is my response?
4. Act: ¿What to do as a result of my prayer?
PRAYER TO MARY, QUEEN OF PEACE, PATRONESS OF WUCWO
O Loving God, your Son, Jesus Christ, came into the world
to do your Will and leave us His Peace.
Through the intercession and example of our Blessed Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, grant us the wisdom and humility to reflect that peace to the world.
Inspire our thoughts, words and deeds to bear witness
to your presence in our hearts.
May your Holy Spirit fill us with every grace and blessing so that we may pursue what leads to peace for all humanity.