In Advent, we focus on the first and second comings of Christ. The preparation for Christ’s coming is reform, and the promise of His coming is reconciliation. And the two are linked. If the Messiah comes to restore harmony between nations and people, then the people of the Messiah are to repent of whatever destroys that harmony. If the Messiah will judge the poor with justice, then the people of the Messiah are to work to eliminate injustice. The worst injustice in our society is abortion. But Christ’s coming heralds a new harmony between mother and child. Advent leads us to the Silent Night when the whole world finds joy in His birth. May that birth shed protection on all about to be born, and as we work to end abortion, may we “wait in joyful hope for the coming of Our Savior, Jesus Christ.”
This week we observe Thanksgiving Day. We rejoice in the God who has given us life and freedom. The Founding Fathers of the United States of America were godly men, who understood their dependence on God and the fact that He was the source of all their blessings. The single most frequently used source for their ideas and writings was the Bible, and they taught that the nation they were founding could never survive without the worship of God and adherence to His law.
They did not believe in the kind of separation of Church and state that some espouse today — in fact, the phrase is found nowhere in the Constitution or the Declaration of Independence. Rather, the Declaration declares our dependence upon God four separate times. Let us give thanks for our nation and for our faith.
Advocates of abortion have always tried to hijack the language and concept of freedom. The reality of killing a child has been camouflaged in the words “freedom of choice.” Yet Scripture makes clear the real meaning of freedom. In Exodus seven sixteen, God has Moses tell Pharaoh, “Let my people go.” But here, and in the following chapters, this command in its fullness is, “Let my people go, that they may serve me.” Freedom has a content. It is not a cloak for whatever we want to do; it is a road to serve the Lord. And the service of the Lord means there are some things we always choose and some things that we always reject. The service of the Lord is a way of life – indeed a narrow way. Yet to follow it is freedom.
Today is the Feast of St. Faustina, to whom Jesus revealed the wonders of divine mercy.
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 2003, Pope John Paul II, who had a deep personal devotion to the Divine Mercy, issued a special papal blessing to all who pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy for an end to abortion, for mothers who abort, and for the conversion of abortionists. You can obtain the full text of the blessing at priestsforlife.org.
On September 29, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael. Raphael means “God Heals.” This is the angel of whom we read in the book of Tobit, whose father was healed of blindness through the angel’s help.
Today, let’s pray to Raphael to heal the many wounds caused by abortion in our world, and to bring those who have committed abortion to the peace and forgiveness of Christ.
Let’s also ask Raphael’s intercession to heal the blindness of all who think it is OK to let children in the womb be ripped apart by abortion, or who are not motivated to do something to save these vulnerable lives.
Raphael the Archangel, bring God’s healing to our nation, that we may become a culture of life.
On September 29, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.
Michael led the faithful angels in the battle that broke out in heaven when Lucifer rebelled.
The devil and his followers thought they could be like God by their own choice.
But Michael, whose name means “Who is like God?”, represents the fact that it is only by God’s sovereign choice that we can be exalted to His throne.
The battle between pro-life and pro-choice is the same battle. They are wrong who think that the only thing that matters in the end is their own choice, or that such a choice determines right and wrong.
Rather, it is God’s choice that matters, and when He chooses to create a little child, it is our duty to welcome and protect that precious gift.
Abraham is our father in faith. His name was originally “Abram,” which means “exalted father.” But God changed his name to Abraham, meaning “father of many.”
God tells him when he is ninety nine years old that he will bear a son and be the father of many nations! The stars in the sky don’t measure up to the number of descendants he will have. And it came to pass. His descendants include us, who inherit the same life of faith as he lived.
This is a faith that affirms life despite being confronted with the power of death. In Christ we have seen the victory of life over death, and this faith enables us to declare that the power of abortion will come to an end and the culture of life will prevail.
The Lord taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” We ask Him for the provisions we need each day to live and to serve Him. We ask Him for the spiritual strength to resist the temptations that will certainly come our way, and for the grace to advance His Kingdom.
This also means we are praying for the graces we need to advance the protection of human life. We may be tempted to compromise with the culture of death. We ask for the daily bread of strength to defend life, to speak up for the helpless, to intervene to save the weak. We pray also that those tempted to abort their children because of economic reasons may experience the help of God’s people, the daily bread of their generosity.
When Jesus began His preaching He declared that the Kingdom of God had come among us. Yet in the prayer He taught us, He instructed us to pray, “Thy Kingdom Come!” The kingdom, indeed, is already here. The Kingdom is Jesus Himself, united with His members who, together with Him, make up His Body, the Church. Yet the kingdom is not yet here in all its completion. It continues to grow, and it continues to strive against many enemies. God’s Kingdom, as the liturgy says, is a kingdom “of truth and life, of holiness and grace, of justice, love and peace.” This kingdom defines the culture of life, where the unborn and frail are welcomed and protected. Each time we pray the Our Father, let our longing for that kingdom increase.
In the Our Father, we pray “Hallowed be Thy name.” When the People of God live in a way that reflects the holiness, justice, truth and love of God Himself, then God’s name is honored. In other words, God’s people give God a good reputation, and the word “Christian” is something people want to identify with. But when God’s people are unfaithful, God’s name is dishonored.
This is what happens when God’s people turn the other way and ignore the abortions that kill thousands of babies every day – or even participate in them. This dishonors both the rights of that child and the honor of God. Hallowed be Thy name, through our commitment to life. Hallowed be Thy name, through the sacrifice we make to defend life, and the care we give to mother and child alike.