Pope Francis asks us to pray for a specific intention each month. The intention offered will be either universal or evangelisation. For the month of May we are asked to pray for the The Mission of Laity. According to the US Catholic Bishops we should pray …
“That the lay faithful may fulfill their specific mission, by responding with creativity to the challenges that face the world today.”
According to Layola Press, “Never before in the history of the Church has the absolutely essential role of the layperson been so dramatically emphasized as it is now.” Since Vatican II, the Church has emphasised the role of the laity in its daily life. However as Catholics we do not fully understand the role of the lay vocation and the part it plays in the Church’s mission. For many ordinary Catholics there is a belief that the real vocation in the Church is carried out by priests and the religious orders. The role of the laity is as administrative support for the parish and they do not play a major part in the mission of the Church. In fact, that is not the case, and not because there is a lack of priests in many North American and European diocese. If we look at the history and teaching of the Church, lay-people have a distinct, but a real role in the spreading of the good news of Jesus Christ. In our modern world, according to Loyola Press, ”the Church needs lay-people to carry out with the authority, creativity, and power that the Holy Spirit has given them in Baptism.” It continues by saying that, “laypeople are absolutely equal to those in ordained and religious life. In mission, the work of the laity is the crucial means by which the world is to encounter Christ.”
In June 2016, Pope Francis said that, “The Church should always value the power of faith-filled laity who are willing to serve the Gospel. He goes on to say that, “We (the Church) need well-formed lay people, animated by a sincere and clear faith, whose life has been touched by the personal and merciful love of Christ Jesus.” Carrying out that mission will not be easy. The Holy Father realises that people will have to take risks and be willing to make mistakes while striving to move forward with a vision. This, he says, is a part of all Christians’ baptismal vocation.
Retrieved From: https://www.ignatius.com/promotions/cfe/documents/Disciples%20web%20pages.pdf
Retrieved From: https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/for-pope-francis-the-catholic-laity-can-transform-the-world-86987
Retrieved From: http://www.usccb.org/prayer-and-worship/prayers-and-devotions/the-popes-monthly-intention.cfm