Holy Father's Missionary Intention for March 2011: “That the Holy Spirit may give light and strength to those in many regions of the world who are persecuted and discriminated against because of the Gospel”. Commentary.
Throughout his life, Jesus, and the early Church suffered persecution. In the age wh
Together with the constant presence of Christ, who won over suffering and death through his Resurrection, the Church finds the strength to persevere, even in the midst of persecution, thanks to the precious gift of the Holy Spirit: Receive the power of the Holy Spirit and you shall be my witnesses (cf. At 1, 8). The Spirit helps with the gift of strength to those whose faith in Christ is tried, and sustains believers in a way that they may go on to offer the supreme witness of martyrdom, if called.
May this Spirit, which is divine light and force, sustains our brothers and sisters living under the trial of persecution. May this same Spirit animates our prayer, that is genuine, passionate and committed. The forms of persecution are different in different parts of the world. In some countries they resort to the use of physical violence, to coercion, and threats. In Western cultures today they discredit, insult and ridicule everything that is Christian. May the Holy Spirit render us authentic Catholic witnesses to Christ, consistent with the Gospel, people who do not adapt to this world (cf. Rom 12: 2). Only those who are willing to suffer for the confession of Christ's name, can truly be his disciples.
Let us pray then this month for our persecuted brothers and, that our prayer is sincere. Let us be open to share some of their sufferings for the confession of the crucified and risen Lord. (Agenzia Fides 25/2/2011)