Sunday, March 4, 2012

Pro-Life Corner: SUNDAY, March 4, 2012

As provided by Priests for Life
BULLETIN INSERT:

A Pro-life Lent

The traditional practice of “giving something up for Lent” is a practice of self-denial; our Lord said that to follow him, we must deny our very selves. It means we say No to ourselves and Yes to God and others. This reverses the pattern of sin, which says Yes to ourselves and No to God and others. In our culture, the most violent No to God and others is abortion. Four thousand times every day in our nation, people say No to a little child so that they may say Yes to their fears or their plans. This Lent, as we practice self-denial, let’s think of these children. Let’s offer our sacrifices for them. May all say Yes to God and Yes to the unborn. For more ideas about how to foster respect for the unborn this Lent, visit www.priestsforlife.org.




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
.
Celebrant: 
St. Paul reminds us that God is present to us in our needs. Let us now bring those needs before our generous and compassionate Lord.

Deacon/Lector:
That during this Lenten season, the Church throughout the world will seek renewal in mind and spirit, we pray to the Lord…

That Church leaders will inspire the people by their authentic example of Christian living and service to the Gospel, we pray to the Lord…

That civil leaders will always be mindful of protecting the rights of the people they have been chosen to serve, we pray to the Lord…

That as the apostles saw the glory of God in Jesus, we too may see that every human life, even when frail and feeble, is a reflection of God's glory, we pray to the Lord...

That the sick may unite their suffering with the suffering of Christ who carries our burdens with us, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died and are awaiting the day of perfection may share in the triumph of Christ, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant:
Father, we trust in your great mercy and love.
We ask you to grant these prayers and all things through your Son,
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.




HOMILY SUGGESTIONS: 
Gn 22:1-2, 9a, 10-13, 15-18
Rom 8:31b-34
Mk 9:2-10


It was already a miracle that Abraham and Sarah even had a son, Isaac. The name itself means “laughter,” because when God promised them that they would have a son, Abraham was 99 years old and Sarah was 90, and they both laughed. Yet it came to pass. Abraham used to be named “Abram” (“exalted father”), but God changed his name to “Abraham” (“father of many”). Isaac, then, was the beginning of the fulfillment of this marvelous promise that Abraham would have descendants as countless as the stars of the sky.

What a test, then, when God said he was going to take the only son to himself. How would God’s promise be fulfilled, and why would God do this in the light of his promise? Yet despite unanswerable questions, Abraham trusted and obeyed. He is truly “our father in faith.”

God gave Abraham this test as a foreshadowing of Christ. The eternal Father would give his own Son for the life of the world. But again, how could he do this? The question of Isaac still echoes centuries later at Calvary. If the Father loves the Son, how could he sacrifice him on the wood of the cross?

The answer, as Thomas Aquinas expressed it, lies in the fact that God filled his Son with such love, that he was able to sacrifice himself for us. There is no enmity between the Father and the Son. There is only love, impelling the Son to give himself away. Christ said of his own life, “I have the power to lay it down and the power to take it up again.” He was speaking about the power of love.

That’s the power at the heart of the Culture of Life. It is a love by which we sacrifice ourselves for others. It is a love which, like the love God showed Abraham, brings life out of death. It is a love that sees and understands that in every circumstance, God is for us (2nd reading) and that nobody can be against us, that is, nobody can prevail in doing us ultimate harm. We always have the power to do what is right, to avoid injustice, and to welcome life. Lent is the opportunity to exercise the faith, the trust, the love we need to do precisely that. And yet this is no mere exercise of the will. It is the response to the gift of God in Christ Jesus, the only Beloved Son, to whom we listen and whom alone we obey.

Pro-Life Liturgical Resources: Second Sunday of Lent, Cycle B - March 4, 2012 
~Priests for Life


So did you hear a pro-life homily today? How about the petitions? The bulletin? If you did, please share! If not, please consider letting your priest know about these valuable pro-life resources!


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.