The Holy Father’s prayer intention for May is “That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.”
The Pope’s intention is presented each month by The Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network (Apostleship of Prayer), which addresses the challenges facing humanity and assists the mission of the Church.
The following reflection was written by Fr. Jacob Boddicker, SJ. Fr. Jacob Boddicker was ordained to the priesthood in June 2017 and is currently doing pastoral ministry in St. Francis, South Dakota. Fr. Boddicker is a member of our Board of Directors.
St. Paul writes in his First Letter to the Corinthians, “Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it. Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues.” (vv. 27-28)
Consider the first people Jesus called to follow Him: fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot…all ordinary laymen. Consider how many of the saints were, essentially, ordinary people! You are baptized into the Body of Christ for a purpose, and countless saints have gone before you in faithful service to Jesus, living out His call to be “the salt of the earth…the light of the world…a city on a mountain” which “cannot be hidden.” (Matthew 5:13-16)
Every member of the Body—from the newly baptized infant to the shut-in who can only pray and watch Mass on television—has a part to play in Christ’s work to redeem the world. Much of this work is the day-to-day, unseen, little tasks done with great love and fidelity: the raising of children, the honest day’s labor, showing kindness to a stranger, making a hidden sacrifice for the sake of another, and so on. We are the living stones (1 Peter 2:5) which build up the Church, not only in the sense of bricks in the wall, but also as laborers adding on to it. As a little salt flavors a great deal of food, as a little light dispels a room full of darkness, as a city on a hill is seen from miles around, so each of us is to follow and serve Christ in the way only we can, living our Catholic faith in the world as an ambassador for Our Lord.
How am I living out my baptismal call to serve Jesus in the world? Is this enough, or is Jesus calling me to more? How do I desire to serve Him? What gifts do I bring to the Body of Christ
1 Peter 2:9 – “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”