Thurs July 6.  St Maria Goretti.   Mama Brigitte liked to tell the story to her children’s group of 12 year-old Maria who lived in Italy in the 19th century. She had been taught to love God and follow his ways.  When a young man, a tenant in their house, tried to rape her she resisted and was killed by him.  Her killer was converted after many years in jail and was present when the Church canonised Maria. She was declared a model for young girls and for boys too. The members of the elderly luncheon group agreed that their teenagers need their support and their prayers as they face temptations and dangers.  In the past there human sacrifice was practised in different cultures and children were killed and sacrificed to the gods.  We are horrified at that today, just as we are shocked but maybe not horrified enough when children are abused and killed.  Human life must be seen as sacred and all forms of life respected too. 

Reflect, share, act. Scripture:   Read the story of how God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son in Genesis 22: 1-19.   “Take your son, your only begotten son Isaac whom you love and go to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering.   Gen22:1.  Pope Francis. The sexual abuse of children is all the more scandalous when it occurs in places where they ought to be most safe, particularly in families, schools, communities and Christian institutions.   AL 45.