As is the practice over at Catholic Sistas, a blog to which I contribute, Sunday posts will be scheduled ahead of time in order to leave that day for Church and family.
Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle B
Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical “God is Love” teaches that “agape, which [is]…the typical expression for the biblical notion of love….expresses the experience of a love which involves a real discovery of the other, moving beyond the selfish character that prevailed earlier. Love now becomes concern and care for the other. No longer is it self-seeking, a sinking in the intoxication of happiness; instead it seeks the good of the beloved: it becomes renunciation and it is ready, and even willing, for sacrifice” (n. 6).
This kind of love is seen in a particular way when we care for the weak and defenseless, both born and unborn. May the Pope’s encyclical encourage us to build a culture of life! For more commentary on the document, visit www.priestsforlife.org/articles/godislovecommentary.htm.
As you know, the US Bishops have asked us to include in the General intercessions at every Mass a petition for the building of the Culture of Life. Their words in the Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities read, "Parishes should include in the petitions at every Mass a prayer that ours will become a nation that respects and protects all human life, born and unborn, reflecting a true culture of life." (US Bishops, 2001, "A Campaign in Support of Life"). ~Fr. Frank Pavone, Priests for Life
- That the Church may be a sign of the healing power of forgiveness and reconciliation, we pray to the Lord...
- That Church leaders may be sustained by God’s grace amidst challenges of spreading the Gospel throughout the world, we pray to the Lord...
- That our President may be strengthened in his daily responsibilities by the example of the great presidents of the past, and by the teachings of Christ, we pray to the Lord...
- That Christ, who is the "Yes" to the promises of God, may enable us to always say "Yes" to life, and welcome the poor, the vulnerable, and the unborn, we pray to the Lord...
- That as we begin Lent this week, we may deepen our repentance from sin and our trust in God's mercy, we pray to the Lord...
- That all who have died may live in the glory of God for all eternity, let us pray to the Lord...
Is 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25/2
2 Cor 1:18-22
Is 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25/2
2 Cor 1:18-22
|Memorial in the Garden of Hope, Brescia University - Owensboro, KY|
The emphasis of the first reading and Gospel for this weekend on the forgiveness of sins suggests, of course, that as we speak about God’s mercy, we mention that the Church extends that mercy to all who have been involved in abortion. To the extent that the homilist may wish to develop this theme, the words of Evangelium Vitae 99 are worth reading, and are reproduced below. Likewise, a practical resource like the Silent No More Awareness Campaign (www.silentnomoreawareness.org) can be mentioned. Parishioners can find referrals to various ministries of post-abortion healing at that website. The gatherings, furthermore, in which women give their testimonies about how they regret their abortions, are occasions in which the mercy of God shines forth powerfully to the local community. It would be a powerful addition to this weekend’s message if a woman who has had an abortion and shares her testimony could give a 3-5 minute talk after Communion.
If the homilist wants to comment upon the second reading, the theme of Jesus Christ as the “Yes” is a powerful pro-life theme. “Yes” is what he says to human life, and in his “Yes” we find the strength to say “Yes.” Abortion and euthanasia, on the other hand, are the “No’s” to God’s plan. They are, by definition, negations of the promises God holds out to all whom he creates.
Excerpt from Evangelium Vitae 99:
“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.”
Pro-Life Liturgical Resources: Fifth Sunday Ordinary Time, Cycle B, February 19 ~Priests for Life