Sunday, March 11, 2012

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, March 11, 2012


Pope Benedict XVI on Life

“In the light of my recent Encyclical Letter on Christian love, I would like to underline the importance of the service of love for the support and promotion of human life. In this regard, even before active initiatives, it is fundamental to foster a correct attitude towards the other: the culture of life is in fact based on attention to others without any forms of exclusion or discrimination. Every human life, as such, deserves and demands always to be defended and promoted.” – Address on February 5, 2006

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
We are called to be a holy people. Turning to the one true God, we offer our prayers in faith and trust.

That the Church may continue to courageously proclaim the Gospel message in response to the needs of the world, we pray to the Lord…

That the pope, bishops, and all Church leaders may continue to remind us of the needs of the poor and of the ways in which we can serve, we pray to the Lord…

For all those who are preparing for baptism on Easter night, we pray to the Lord…

That in obedience to the command "Thou shall not kill," all nations will abolish the practice of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia, we pray to the Lord...

That our parish family may be a faith-filled community where all are welcome and strive to imitate Christ in word and action, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died may rest in the peace of the Messiah, we pray to the Lord…

Heavenly Father,
we ask your blessings on this community as we journey through Lent.
Give us grace and strength to follow you more closely.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Ex 20:1-17 or 20:1-3, 7-8, 12-17
1 Cor 1:22-25
Jn 2:13-25

The reading from Exodus of the giving of the commandments puts into context the absolute prohibition of killing human beings. Before he says, “Thou shalt not kill,” God says “I, the Lord, am your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt.”

In other words, his commands are given in the context of his relationship with us. He rescues us, he frees us, he makes a covenant with us, he shares his life with us. From these realities flow the commandments. He is not simply imposing something on us from the outside; rather, he is showing us what the new way of life entails. We obey the commandments because we’re God’s children. We respect life not just because “God said so,” but because God is life. We are to be truthful because God is truth. We are to be just because God is justice, and if we share in his life, we will act like him.

This is the positive context in which our people can understand the absolute command to respect, promote, and defend life. It is not a burdensome command; rather, as today’s psalm tells us, it “refreshes the soul,” because it shows the soul the way to happiness and fulfillment.

Our Lord’s promise to raise up the temple of his body (today’s Gospel passage) completes this whole context, because it is only through his resurrection that the life of God can be given to us. That risen life, of course, is what the catechumens are preparing all during Lent to receive. Moreover, each of us is preparing, through Lenten penance, to renew the promises of our baptism at Easter – the promises to follow the new way of life which the commandments reflect.

Pro-Life Liturgical Resources: Third Sunday of Lent, Cycle B - March 11, 2012
~Priests for Life

Every Sunday, I post these pro-life materials, generously offered for distribution by Priests for Life. These posts coincide with the Church calendar and 'contain three elements: a one-paragraph bulletin insert, General Intercessions, and suggestions for drawing pro-life themes out of the Sunday reading for the homily'. This is my Sunday effort to help us all think with a pro-life heart.

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.

PS. Learn about Lady Ribbon’s Entry Into Our Lives… a ribbon that truly speaks to Catholic women with regard to breast cancer with a focus on pro-life awareness.