Sunday, July 26, 2020

A Holy Hour: Prayer In Solidarity with The Victims of Human Trafficking

July 30 is the International Day against Human Trafficking declared by the UN, so we have gathered on this day to pray for those who are victims of this crime. In the many forms of exploitation, women, men, girls, and boys are enslaved in factories, sweatshops, mines, camps, nightclubs and domestic work. Human beings, our sisters and brothers, are being treated as objects. Our people are being exploited after being victims of lies. We ask for forgiveness for the silence. We ask for courage not to dismiss any effort to fight this scourge. And we also pray for all the people and organizations that fight against these situations of injustice, so that the God of life will continue to give them audacity and wisdom.

Print version: HERE

Opening | One Bread, One Body by John Michael Talbot
We pray with the following song or some other song.

One bread, one body, one Lord of all
One cup of blessing which we bless
And we, though many, throughout the earth
We are one body in this one Lord

Gentile or Jew
Servant or free
Woman or man
No more

One bread, one body, one Lord of all
One cup of blessing which we bless
And we, though many, throughout the earth
We are one body in this one Lord

Many the gifts, many the works
One in the Lord
Of all

One bread, one body, one Lord of all
One cup of blessing which we bless
And we, though many, throughout the earth
We are one body in this one Lord
We are one body in this one Lord

Our Father...
Hail Mary...

Presider: In heaven and on earth may Christ be praised forever
R: May his love empower us to promote human dignity for all.   

The global exploitation offers a very wide scope for individuals who see human trafficking as a business. One of the most notorious dimensions of human trafficking is sexual exploitation. However, there are other forms of exploitation: labor exploitation, exploitation of children for the sex industry, begging, war, servile marriages and organ trafficking.

We invite you to bring to your mind and heart the names of cities or people that you know who have been victims of one of these situations and to pronounce them aloud presenting them to our good God. 


Reading from the book of the prophet Ezekiel 36: 26-27
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
The word of the Lord

Address of His Holiness Pope Francis to Participants in the World Day of Prayer, Reflection and Action Against Human Trafficking (2018).
“When countries fall prey to extreme poverty, violence and corruption, the economy, the regulatory framework and the basic infrastructures are inefficient and are unable to guarantee security, goods and essential rights. In such contexts, the perpetrators of these crimes act with impunity. Organized crime and the illegal trafficking of drugs and of human beings choose their prey from among the people who have the most inadequate means of subsistence and even less hope for the future.” 

Personal reflection
What word or phrase from all that you have heard so far echoes in your heart?
To what do you feel invited, personally and communally?

Action | Music can be good to accompany this moment, such as Carey Landry’s “I will never forget you.” or instrumental music. 

I invite you to place your right hand on your left shoulder and your left hand on your right shoulder, and thus in that embrace recognize the Incarnate Word who teaches us to discover the infinite value of others. Feel God's embrace for you and also embrace so many people who live in situations of slavery.

Psalm | Ita Ford, M.M.
I hope that you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. 
Something worth living for – 
maybe event worth dying for, 
something that energize you, enthuses you, 
enables you to keep moving ahead.

I can’t tell you what it might be – 
that’s for you to find, to choose, to love. 
I can just encourage you to start looking 
and support you in the search.

Blessed be God.
Blessed be his Holy Name.
Blessed be Jesus Christ true God and true Man.
Blessed be the Name of Jesus.
Blessed be the Compassionate Heart of God
Blessed be Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament of the Community.
Blessed be the Ruah, Holy Spirit.
Blessed be the name of Mary, disciple and mother.
Blessed be St. Joseph, companion of life.
Blessed be God when a person succeeds in being free again.
Blessed be God in those who fight to stop human trafficking.

CLOSING PRAYER | Day of Prayer and Awareness Against Trafficking- 2016
O God, when we hear of children and adults being deceived and taken to unknown places for purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, and organ ‘harvesting’, our hearts are saddened and our spirits angry that their dignity and rights are ignored through threats, lies, and force. We cry out against the evil practice of this modern slavery, and pray with St. Bakhita for it to end. Give us wisdom and courage to reach out and stand with those whose bodies, hearts and spirits have been so wounded, so that together we may make real your promises to fill these sisters and brothers with a love that is tender and good. Send the exploiters away empty-handed to be converted from this wickedness, and help us all to claim the freedom that is your gift to your children. Amen

Another resource:

© A prayer resource by Congregational Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Office. A ministry of the Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word [World Day Against Human Trafficking 2020] Free Resource

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