January 27. Angela Merici. There was a time in Europe  around 1500, when girls did not get the same privileges and education as boys.  St Angela Merici recognised this injustice and founded the Ursuline sisters to educate and care for girls and their moral formation. That situation still exists in places, as we have heard in recent news.  In Afghanistan the Taliban are excluding girls from high schools, university and even women from work opportunities. Even in our own families we can ask ourselves whether children are respected, and boys and girls are respected equally.  If not what can be done to start to put this right?

Scripture.  Whoever receives one of such children in my name receives me and not only me but the one who sent me.  Mark 9:34-37.  Pope Francis. Let us think about the many children who suffer from forms of violence that rob them of the joy of life.  I keep thinking of their sorrowful and bewildered faces. They are pleading for our help to be set free from the slavery of the contemporary world. The Face of Mercy 19.   A real and lasting peace will only be possible on the basis of a global ethic of solidarity and cooperation in the service of a future shaped by interdependence and shared responsibility in the whole human family.  FT127