Intention: On this First Friday, ever mindful of Christ’s infinite love for humanity, we pray and fast for the protection of religious freedom for all people of faith.
Reflection: In today’s gospel reading, we encounter another example of the totality of Christ’s love, as exemplified through Christ’s words to the Pharisees who had questioned His interactions with tax collectors and sinners. Christ, ever unconcerned with public opinion, tells the Pharisees, “Go and learn the meaning of the words, I desire mercy, not sacrifice. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners” (Mt 9:13).
In the current struggle for religious freedom, let us be mindful of the totality of Christ’s love. The freedom to embrace that expansive love, and to act in response to it, is both a right that belongs to all people and something that we must act vigilantly to protect. Indeed, just this week, a religious coalition of many leaders of other denominations and faiths joined together to sign a statement supporting religious freedom.
Thus, on this First Friday, we would be well served to take to heart the words of our Holy Father: “We must promote religious liberty for all people. Every man and woman must be free to profess his or her faith… Why? Because that man and that woman are children of God.”
Did you know? On Tuesday of this week, over 100 prominent national religious leaders and scholars joined Archbishop William Lori, Chairman of the USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, and Dr. Russell Moore, President of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Committee, in signing an open letter called Standing Together for Religious Freedom. The letter calls on the Administration and Congress to respect conscience rights and religious freedom in light of the coercive HHS mandate.
- Learn about the Bishops’ Call to Prayer for Life, Marriage, and Religious Liberty
- Sign the pledge to fast on Fridays for life, marriage, and religious liberty
- Join the Call to Prayer Facebook event