Sunday, March 25, 2012

Pro-life Corner: SUNDAY, March 25, 2012

BULLETIN INSERT:

Wisdom of the Ages…

Tertullian, a Christian writer who died in the third century, wrote the following: ‘Thus, you read the word of God, spoken to Jeremias: "Before I formed thee in the womb, I knew thee." If God forms us in the womb, He also breathes on us as He did in the beginning: "And God formed man and breathed into him the breath of life." Nor could God have known man in the womb unless he were a whole man. "And before thou camest forth from the womb, I sanctified thee." Was it, then, a dead body at that stage? Surely it was not, for "God is the God of the living and not the dead."’- De Anima 26.5 

General Intercessions

GENERAL INTERCESSIONS:  
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

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B - March 25, 2012

Celebrant: With the hope that comes from the death and resurrection of Jesus, we offer our prayers to our heavenly Father.

Deacon/Lector:
That the members of the Church may grow in faith and live more fully in God’s love, we pray to the Lord…

That our government leaders may be blessed with the strength and wisdom they need to carry out their public service, we pray to the Lord…

That as Jesus laid down His life for us, so we may find strength to sacrifice ourselves for others, especially the poor, the weak, the unborn, and the unwanted, we pray to the Lord...

That those who suffer from the effects of war and natural disasters may be relieved of their suffering, we pray to the Lord…

That all those preparing for baptism may experience the joyful welcome of the Christian community this Easter, we pray to the Lord…

That all who have died may rest from their labors in God’s loving care, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant:
Almighty God, answer our prayers, and grant that we may live more fully in your love each day.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



HOMILY SUGGESTIONS: 
Jer 31:31-34
Heb 5:7-9
Jn 12:20-33

The Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of Life, precisely because when the “grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it produces much fruit.” The paradox of the Gospel of Life is that life is poured out on the world precisely when life is given away for the good of others. In Evangelium Vitae we read:

“He who had come "not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10:45), attains on the Cross the heights of love: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). And he died for us while we were yet sinners (cf. Rom 5:8). "In this way Jesus proclaims that life finds its centre, its meaning and its fulfillment when it is given up. "At this point our meditation becomes praise and thanksgiving, and at the same time urges us to imitate Christ and follow in his footsteps (cf. 1 Pt 2:21). "We too are called to give our lives for our brothers and sisters, and thus to realize in the fullness of truth the meaning and destiny of our existence” (EV #51).

Christ is the grain of wheat that falls to the earth, but is also “lifted up from the earth” – both on the cross and in the Resurrection and Ascension. And the fruit is that he “draws all people to himself.”

We have here the powerful themes of life-giving fruitfulness and unity. The Culture of Death denies both. It embraces, through “pro-choice” rhetoric, the “loving of one’s own life” that Christ rejects in this Gospel teaching. The words “This is my body” are used with opposite meanings: “I control my life” or “I give my life.”

As we approach Holy Week and meditate on the Passion, it is a perfect time to call our people to a renewed commitment to give themselves away to defend the vulnerable, particularly the most oppressed, who are the unborn.

Fifth Sunday of Lent, Cycle B - March 25, 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.
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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.