“Globally, there are an estimated 38 million people who have the virus. Despite the virus only being identified in 1984, more than 35 million people have died of HIV or AIDS-related illnesses, making it one of the most destructive pandemics in history.” 1
The numbers reported today, on World AIDS Day are truly staggering. While many in the US and others in the global north have access to advanced medications to make this virus more manageable, many of our sisters and brothers around the world still suffer and die every day because of this pandemic.
Since this was first identified, our Mission Doctors have cared for patients fighting this terrible virus. And as members of our faith community, we know that those of us who may feel powerless in the face of global HIV are not because we believe in the power of prayer and of God’s love.
So, we invite you to pray with us this beautiful prayer written by the National African American Catholic HIV/AIDS Task Force. 2
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.
Father, 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 to 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.