On Easter, many throughout the world are baptized into the Church, and those already baptized renew the vows of their baptism.
By baptism, we are immersed in the new life of Christ, and welcomed into the community of those who believe in the Catholic Faith. Thanks to baptism, God looks at us through the eyes of His Son, and says, ‘You are my child; you died on the cross, therefore you will rise from the dead.’
Baptism is a sacrament of welcome. God chooses us long before we choose, and all the chosen welcome each other. This is the exact opposite of the mindset of abortion, which ignores God’s choice, and says that we can choose not to welcome children into the community.
Let’s thank God for baptism, and for life!
Many of you pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Did you know that this prayer was given to St. Faustina especially because of the sin of abortion? God revealed to her that because of this evil, the world needs His mercy more than ever. He even permitted St. Faustina to suffer special pains, representing the pain of abortion. In keeping with today’s feast of Divine Mercy Sunday, please pray for the many people who seek forgiveness from abortion by coming to Rachel’s Vineyard, which operates under the umbrella of Priests for Life and is the largest ministry in the world for healing after abortion. Not only do we provide retreats, but we also enable people to make the long journey of healing through various forms of individual counseling. May God’s mercy come to all.
When the women who had gone to anoint Jesus’ body on the first Easter morning returned to the Apostles with the news that they had seen the risen Lord, the Apostles refused to believe it. The story seemed like nonsense to them. That night, when Jesus appeared to them, He chided them for their stubborn refusal to believe.
The Apostles clearly were not engaged in wishful thinking, or a desire to make up the Resurrection story. If they were, then they would readily have used the women’s story as a starting point.
In reality, they came to believe because they saw and touched the risen Lord. This gives us confidence. Death has been conquered, and therefore we can fight the culture of death, knowing that the victory of life is more than wishful thinking.
When Jesus rose from the dead, an angel descended from heaven, rolled the stone away, and sat on it. This was not so that Jesus could get out, but so that His followers could see that the tomb was empty.
The angel’s actions also mean that we will walk out of our graves. The stone sealed human beings in the grave, but after rolling it away, the angel sat on the stone, symbolizing that death is conquered and cannot any longer hold humanity captive to the grave. Our destiny is now the heights of heaven.
That’s what God thinks of human life, and that’s why we work to end abortion, euthanasia, and every other form of violence. Ultimately, abortion is a denial of Christ’s Resurrection, but our Easter faith impels us to extend the victory of life.
The Easter Season is a celebration of Life, and a time to renew our confidence in the ultimate victory of the forces of life against the culture of death.
Therefore, Priests for Life has composed a special Easter Prayer for Life that we invite you to say each day of this holy season. The prayer reminds us that the victory of Christ, the Author of Life, is the source from which we draw strength to fight evils like abortion.
So visit priestsforlife.org, print out the Easter Prayer for Life, and invite your family, pro-life group, school and parish to join us in praying it. Let us rejoice throughout this Resurrection season that death can never have the last word in the human story.
Holy Thursday, a day sacred to all Christians, is the day on which Jesus gave us the Eucharist, the Priesthood, and the commandment of charity. All are symbolized by His washing the feet of His disciples. He told us on this sacred night that we are to wash each other’s feet. We are to do what is unpleasant in order to serve one another; we are to get ourselves dirty in order to love one another.
Tonight, as we all join in the Mass of the Lord’s Supper, let us recommit ourselves to loving and serving the least among us, the smallest and most vulnerable, namely, the unborn children. Let us wash their feet by speaking up for them and working to restore the protection of their lives.
Wednesday of Holy Week has traditionally been known as “Spy Wednesday,” because the Gospel passage of today says that Judas “kept looking for an opportunity to betray” Jesus.
What a sad commentary this is about how we can abuse our freedom of choice. The door of opportunity opens both ways. Every moment provides opportunities for growing closer to God or for betraying Him. Some are always spying for the chance to do the cowardly thing.
We are called, however, to spy for the opportunity to do heroic things. We are called to be on the lookout at all times for opportunities to proclaim the Gospel of Life, and to defend the sanctity of life.
May the sin of Judas keep us mindful of our weakness and determined to be faithful.
We are now in Holy Week, the high point of the Church’s year. On Holy Thursday, we will receive, as if for the first time, the gift of Jesus’ Body and Blood, given at the Last Supper. On Good Friday, we will kiss the Cross, the instrument of our salvation. On Holy Saturday, we will meditate by His tomb, when He descended among the dead. We will keep vigil for His resurrection. And on Easter, we will celebrate with triumphant joy the victory of life that came with His Resurrection.
Holy Week is also the center of our commitment to defend the sanctity of life. Holy Week is all about how life conquers death, and how human beings are raised to the heights of heaven. May it deepen our pro-life commitment.
On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II was called from this world to the next.
John Paul II was the Pope of Life. He provided the Church and the world with profound reflections about the origins of human life in the loving mystery of the unity of man and woman. He wrote about love and responsibility, and he called the Church to understand that God’s choice comes before our choices.
He provided the pro-life movement with the encyclical Evangelium Vitae, the Gospel of Life. In it, he declared that the attack on children in the womb is an attack on God Himself, and that when the state no longer protects these children, the disintegration of the state itself has begun.
May the example and teaching of John Paul II hasten the Culture of Life.