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Pray with Pope Francis Reflection - April 2024

Fr. Edmund Lo, SJ

Friday, April 5, 2024

My brothers and sisters: In this month of April, Pope Francis invites us to pray that the dignity and worth of women be recognised in every culture, and for an end to the discrimination they face in various parts of the world.
At the heart of this month’s prayer intention is the Christian truth that God has created man and woman in his own image, that they are equal in dignity because of their likeness to God. The complementarity between man and woman in a marriage means that no one should lord over another. 
Sadly, a woman’s God-given dignity and worth can be disrespected in many ways. It can be as mundane as the expectation that only women do house chores, or that men are the only ones who have a voice in important matters. 
Unfortunately, there are far more blatant violations of a woman’s dignity. For instance, there are places in our world where women are prohibited to drive a car, something that we may take for granted. 
Worse, women in other parts of the world are not allowed to vote, as their voices are stifled. There are also those who are forbidden to even go to school simply because they are women. Some are unwillingly forced into marriage, and the list goes on.
These examples may seem distant to us, but these violations of the dignity of women do exist. To advocate for women in this way is to acknowledge and respect their God-given dignity. 
This challenges us to venture outside of our comfort zone, to not only empathise with the plight of others, but to stand with those who are alone, and be their voice of the voiceless. May God bless you today.
Watch previous Pray with Pope Francis videos here.

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