Just Gospel: Pope Francis’ April Prayer for Economists

Sister JulieAnn Sheahan

April 22, 2018

Franciscan Sister of Christian Charity Sister Kathleen Murphy shares on Pope Francis’ April prayer intention for economists and another line from Tom Kendzia’s song Now is the Time.

…Spirit of hope, stand before our eyes. Make us your own, now is the time… This line from Tom Kendzia’s song introduces our thoughts for a new month. Spring awaits its moment to burst forth. These are the days of hope’s new birth opening before our eyes. God brings forth new life again and it is ours to see and celebrate!

In this season of newness we look at Pope Francis’ intention which asks us to pray, That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths. When Pope Francis met with leaders of the U.N. in 2014 he shared the following thoughts: “I would like to remind you of an incident which took place two thousand years ago and is recounted in the Gospel of Saint Luke (19:1-10). It is the encounter between Jesus Christ and the rich tax collector Zacchaeus, as a result of which Zacchaeus made a radical decision of sharing and justice, because his conscience had been awakened by the gaze of Jesus. The gaze, often silent, of that part of the human family which is cast off, left behind, ought to awaken the conscience of political and economic agents and lead them to generous and courageous decisions with immediate results, like the decision of Zacchaeus. The account of Jesus and Zacchaeus teaches us that above and beyond economic and social systems and theories, there will always be a need to promote generous, effective and practical openness to the needs of others. Jesus does not ask Zacchaeus to change jobs nor does he condemn his financial activity; he simply inspires him to put everything, freely yet immediately and indisputably, at the service of others.”

Though we may not be able to contribute to the needs of others from our personal economic resources, we know that our Community helps in our name. However, we can offer our prayer always and everywhere and in some situations we can offer our time and energy to help those who are excluded by society. Keep in prayer those individuals and agencies who make it their work to bring economic justice and security to those who lack the basic needs of life.

Our Core Value statement reminds us that In the spirit of St. Francis, we read the signs of the time and express our love for the Church by loving service…

The signs of our time surely cry out for those who selflessly serve, those who recognize injustice and decry it, those who hold up in prayer the ones who have little reason to hope and cry out in their behalf. Let our prayerful support of all who work for economic justice, as well as our own work and appeals to God in the name of the poor and downtrodden be a source of hope in the world. For, now is the time!

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