The Month of June in the Catholic Church
The liturgical season of Easter ended two weeks ago with Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost, 50 days after Jesus’s resurrection on Easter Sunday, reminds us of the time when Jesus’ followers were gathered together and the Holy Spirit “filled the whole house where they were sitting” (Acts 2:2). “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:4). In our Church today, as we enter the liturgical season of Ordinary Time, we reflect on the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and are reminded that we are called to share our faith with others.
Ordinary Time is far from unimportant or uninteresting. Ordinary Time is a time for growth and maturation, a time in which the mystery of Christ is called to penetrate ever more deeply into history until all things are finally caught up in Christ. The Sundays and weeks of Ordinary Time take us through the life of Christ. Thus, for Catholics, Ordinary Time is part of the year in which Christ, the Lamb of God, walks among us and transforms our lives. There’s nothing ordinary about that!
The Sacred Heart of Jesus
The month of June is known as the month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, most simply because the solemnity of the Sacred Heart is celebrated during this month. The feast dates to 1673 when a French nun who belonged to the Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary in France began to receive visions about the Sacred Heart. The Sacred Heart of Jesus symbolises the immense love Jesus has for humanity, and in artwork, Jesus often appears with his heart visible outside his chest, on fire, and surrounded by a crown of thorns.
Pope Francis Worldwide Prayer Network
June also marks the beginning of a new monthly prayer intention from Pope Francis’ Worldwide Prayer Network. The mission of the Pope’s prayer network is to mobilise Catholics through prayer and action in response to the challenges facing humanity and the mission of the Church.
Did you know that torture still exists in the world, even in the 21st century? “Torture is not past history. Unfortunately, it’s part of our history today,” as Pope Francis states in the following video produced by the Pope’s Worldwide Prayer Network to spread his prayer intention for June. This horror must stop. And to put a halt to it, “it is essential to put the dignity of the person above all else.” If we do not do so, as Pope Francis points out at the end of the video, “the victims are not persons, they are ‘things,’ and can be mistreated mercilessly,” thus destroying them physically and psychologically for the rest of their lives.
Let us pray together with Pope Francis for the abolition of torture:
God of justice and forgiveness,
Let us pray for the many men and women being tortured today in various countries of the world. Let us pray that the international community commit itself concretely to abolish torture, guaranteeing support to victims and their families.