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Easter Journey with Mary Preparing for the Consecration to Our Lady

May 3–May 9

All gather around an image of Mary and a candle. Light the candle and make the sign of the cross:

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

For those families that will pray together, the opening words are read by the father, the teaching and the intercessions by different children, and the final prayer by the mother.

I. Opening

On the cross, the Lord gave us his Mother and in John, the beloved disciple, we all received her among our dearest things. As a good Mother, she not only distributes God's graces to us but also helps us to understand how Jesus makes our lives great and beautiful. Through Mary, we want to rediscover how Christ risen has touched all the dimensions of our life. We want to prepare ourselves as a family for the consecration of our parish to Her. We ask Mary that she will explain us the deep meaning of our work, as a way to build the society according to God’s project and as a step toward our likeness to him.

II. Teaching

Read the reflection by St. John Paul II assigned for the day (below).

III. Intercessions

Say the following intercessions and responses:

V. Mary, you carried in your womb the one who worked creating the Universe. We ask you to generate Him in our hearts so that we will become co-creative with God through our work. Let us pray to the Lord...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

V. Mary, in your holy family, every member worked for the common good following God’s mandate. Help our families to reconcile work and family life by placing Christ at the center. Let us pray to the Lord...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

V. Mary, your Son worked for 30 years as part of our Redemption. Help our families and society to understand work as a way to build on Earth the Kingdom of God. Let us pray to the Lord...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...

IV. Final Prayer

God, Our Father, work is one of your gifts to us; a call to reach new heights by using our talents for the good of all. Through our work your image in us becomes more in your likeness. Guide us to work with your Son and teach us to live in the Spirit our mission in society. Amen.

Readings from St. John Paul II

From the Encyclical Laborem exercens, St. John Paul II, 1981

Monday, May 3

Man is made to be in the visible universe an image and likeness of God himself2, and he is placed in it in order to subdue the earth3. From the beginning therefore he is called to work. Work is one of the characteristics that distinguish man from the rest of creatures. Only man is capable of work. Man is the image of God partly through the mandate received from his Creator to subdue, to dominate, the earth. In carrying out this mandate, man, every human being, reflects the very action of the Creator of the universe.

Tuesday, May 4

The word of God's revelation is profoundly marked by the fundamental truth that man, created in the image of God, shares by his work in the activity of the Creator and that, within the limits of his own human capabilities, man in a sense continues to develop that activity, and perfects it as he advances further and further in the discovery of the resources and values contained in the whole of creation.

Wednesday, May 5

The "Gospel of work," shows that the basis for determining the value of human work is not primarily the kind of work being done but the fact that the one who is doing it is a person. Such a concept practically does away with the very basis of the ancient differentiation of people into classes according to the kind of work done. It means that the primary basis of the value of work is man himself, who is its subject. This leads immediately to a very important conclusion: however true it may be that man is destined for work and called to it, in the first place work is "for man" and not man "for work."

Thursday, May 6

God's fundamental and original intention with regard to man, whom he created in his image and after his likeness15, was not withdrawn or cancelled out even when man, having broken the original covenant with God, heard the words: "In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread"16. These words refer to the sometimes heavy toil that from then onwards has accompanied human work; but they do not alter the fact that work is the means whereby man achieves that "dominion" which is proper to him over the visible world, by "subjecting" the earth.

Friday, May 7

TWork is a good thing for man because through work man not only transforms nature, adapting it to his own needs, but he also achieves fulfilment as a human being and indeed, in a sense, becomes "more a human being". Without this consideration it is impossible to understand the meaning of the virtue of industriousness, and more particularly it is impossible to understand why industriousness should be a virtue: for virtue is something whereby man becomes good as man.

Saturday, May 8

In a way, work is a condition for making it possible to found a family, since the family requires the means of subsistence which man normally gains through work. Work and industriousness also influence the whole process of education in the family, for the very reason that everyone "becomes a human being" through, among other things, work, and becoming a human being is precisely the main purpose of the whole process of education.

Sunday, May 9

Society is a great historical and social incarnation of the work of all generations. All of this brings it about that man combines his deepest human identity with membership of a nation, and intends his work also to increase the common good developed together with his compatriots, thus realizing that in this way work serves to add to the heritage of the whole human family, of all the people living in the world.