Welcome to 2016! The Christmas season is over and gone; the Three Kings have come and gone after sharing their gifts with Baby Jesus and his family, and the children are back at school. 2015 is history and the new year is now officially underway. Hopefully our New Year’s resolutions have been chosen.
Actually, perhaps we need New Year’s “REVOLUTIONS“!
Good Lord, we need you! Turn our world around, and back to You!
Many countries of the world are in disaster mode; many of our brothers and sisters around the world are literally running for their lives. (But, yes, You Lord had to escape from the tyrant Herod. Maybe not so much has changed!) Today we have Boko Haram. ISIS. Abortion. Porn. Gender confusion. Health and body images producing suicide and depression. Gun violence. Liberal against conservative. Presidential candidate slinging mud at presidential candidate. Now even Batman vs. Superman!
Whatever happened to Respect and Honor? Whatever happened to Love One Another? Whatever happened to “Truth, Justice and the American way”? (Actually there are some things about “the American Way” of which we shouldn’t be too proud.
How can we look hopefully to a new year when there is so much fear and confusion around us?
On January 3rd, the Catholic Church celebrated the Feast of the Epiphany. In the Office of Readings for that day, which is part of the Breviary, or “Divine Office,” the Prayer of the Church, we heard from Pope Saint Leo the Great, the 5th Century world leader.
Leo the Great experienced conflicts as well. He stood up to one of the greatest scourges of his time, the notorious Attila the Hun, who was attacking the city of Rome.
Here’s the beginning of what Leo had to say, and it aptly fits our modern day as well as his:
The loving providence of God determined that in the last days he would aid the world, set on its course to destruction. He decreed that all nations should be saved in Christ. A promise had been made to the holy patriarch Abraham in regard to these nations. He was to have a countless progeny…
Please open the following Crossroads Initiative link to get the complete article. Pope Leo speaks of the patriarch Abraham as being the link that brings together the great faiths of the world: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which in our own time is highly pertinent.
In his time, Pope Leo could never have imagined the challenges and opportunities of our modern world. Nevertheless, he speaks clearly to us as well as to his own time of the need for a Savior. He has us call upon the One who sets us free of the many “Attilas” (and Herods) that accost our world, especially those that come from the ongoing conflicts of the children of the patriarch Abraham.
As we enter into 2016 then, let us faithfully call upon our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Who alone can save us from death and despair. Our needs are truly great, but we believe—and know—that God’s power and love shown to us in Jesus “can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20)
As Elizabeth Ministry, we choose to emphasize the needs of parents and children, but all men and women have parents, and many have children. Many have had children die as a result of violence, much like the parents of those innocent children of which we read in Matthew 2.
Lord Jesus, bless each family—parents and children—especially those threatened by war and conflict. Shield in your arms, Lord Jesus, those family members who are separated due to violence and sin. Help us, Jesus, to forgive and to love in spite of our pain, as You did.
Lord Jesus, bless maturing men and women, that they might recognize their sexuality as a gift to bond opposites as spouses in a matrimonial covenant. Help them to turn away from a culture that sees sexual union as social leisure.
Lord Jesus, protect those who struggle against addictions, especially impurity and lust, pornography and masturbation, as well as the many other addictions that lead to bondage rather than freedom. Lead those who choose your help, Lord, to seek out RECLAiM Sexual Health to receive the support they need.
Lord Jesus, bring men and women, from all countries and cultures, to worship and adore You, a descendent of Abraham, that we might be brothers and sisters in one huge human family, that we might protect and cherish one another, protecting the world that you have given to us as our earthly home, that we might enjoy one another’s presence for all eternity.
Lord Jesus, heal us and make us whole! AMEN!
NOTE: Many of us often have personal needs and concerns. Through Elizabeth Ministry and this blog, these needs can be brought to the Lord Jesus by committed Christian men and women around the world who have agreed to pray for those needs. Please contact prayer.requests[at]elizabethministry.com to have your needs circulated throughout this Christian body that the Lord has given to us! Since many organizations have prayer warriors, please limit the prayer needs that come to us as those related to family life, childbearing, healthy sexuality or relationships.
If you’re available at least a few minutes each day to pray for others, please also contact us through the same email address. In both cases, prayer needs as well as prayer ministers, all information is kept confidential. Thank you!