01 December 2006

world AIDS day 06

Currently, there are 40 million people living with HIV and AIDS globally and 1 million in the United States. World AIDS Day was started in 1998 to raise awareness about the impact of HIV and AIDS on our world.

Support World AIDS Day

You might want to take a moment out today and pray for those who are affected by HIV/AIDS - those in your own local community, your church, your nation, and throughout the world. Following the Gospel, the church has often stepped up to care and pray for the sick and diseased, even when those suffering were alienated in some way from others.

There are all sorts of tangible ways that you can help, both by volunteering your time (e.g., educational programs, medication delivery, visitation) or by giving your finances (e.g., sponsoring a child in affected regions through World Vision, giving to local charities, purchasing (RED) products in your holiday shopping).

Among the areas of the world most affected by HIV/AIDS is the continent of Africa. Coming alongside our African brothers and sisters, the National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force provides the following prayer:
God of our weary years, God of our silent tears, O good and gracious God, you are the God of health and wholeness in the plan of your creation, you call us to struggle in our sickness and to cling always to the cross of your Son. O God, we are your servants.

Many of us are now suffering with HIV or AIDS. We come before you and ask you, if it is your holy will, to take this suffering away from us, restore us to health and lead us to know you and your powerful healing love of body and spirit.

We ask you also to be with those of us who nurse your sick ones. We are the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, and friends of your suffering people.

It is so hard for us to see those whom we love suffer. You know what it is to suffer. Help us minister in loving care, support, and patience for your people who suffer with HIV and AIDS. Lead us to do whatever it will take to eradicate this illness from the lives of those who are touched by it, both directly and indirectly.

Trusting in you and the strength of your Spirit, we pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.