Over the weekend, specifically on Saturday morning, I kicked off our Saturday Morning Speaker Series at the parish I work at with the talk – “You Too Go Into My Vineyard: St. John Paul II and the Role of the Laity.” Focusing on the practical side of the laity’s role in the Church, I tried to demonstrate for our parishioners the importance they play, we who are not bound by the vocation of Holy Orders and Religious Life, in the life of the Church as individuals but also how we together work in communion for the Church. As laborers in the vineyard, it is our role to work and produce fruit for Jesus Christ while bringing the gospel message to the world.
Although I provided many great quotes from Pope St. John Paul II’s document, Christifideles Laici (The Lay Members of Christ’s Faithful People), for today’s “Mondays with Mary”, I give you the prayer at the end of the document in which the Holy Father invokes the intercession of all the lay faithful and the work of the Synod to the Blessed Virgin Mary. When the Synod took place in October of 1987, it was the Marian Year in the Catholic Church.
O Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church…
With joy and wonder we seek to make our own your Magnificat, joining you in your hymn of thankfulness and love. With you we give thanks to God, “whose mercy is from generation to generation”, for the exalted vocation and the many forms of mission entrusted to the lay faithful.
God has called each of them by name to live his own communion of love and holiness and to be one in the great family of God’s children. He has sent them forth to shine with the light of Christ and to communicate the fire of the Spirit in every part of society through their life inspired by the gospel.
O Virgin of the Magnificat, fill their hearts with a gratitude and enthusiasm for this vocation and mission. With humility and magnanimity you were the “handmaid of the Lord”; give us your unreserved willingness for service to God and the salvation of the world. Open our hearts to the great anticipation of the Kingdom of God and of the proclamation of the Gospel to the whole of creation. Your mother’s heart is ever mindful of the many dangers and evils which threaten to overpower men and women in our time.
At the same time your heart also takes notice of the many initiatives undertaken for good, the great yearning for values, and the progress achieved in bringing forth the abundant fruits of salvation.
O Virgin full of courage, may your spiritual strength and trust in God inspire us, so that we might know how to overcome all the obstacles that we encounter in accomplishing our mission. Teach us to treat the affairs of the world with a real sense of Christian responsibility and a joyful hope of the coming of God’s Kingdom, and of a “new heaven and a new earth”.
You who were gathered in prayer with the Apostles in the Cenacle, awaiting the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost, implore his renewed outpouring on all the faithful, men and women alike, so that they might more fully respond to their vocation and mission, as branches engrafted to the true vine, called to bear much fruit for the life of the world.
O Virgin Mother, guide and sustain us so that we might always live as true sons and daughters of the Church of your Son. Enable us to do our part in helping to establish on earth the civilization of truth and love, as God wills it, for his glory.