Celebrant: Today we call upon the Lord to help us to love others as he loved us. With that desire in our hearts, we present our needs to him.
That the Church may continue to proclaim the message and love of Christ to the world with clarity and conviction, we pray to the Lord...That public officials will be open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their decisions and actions, we pray to the Lord...For all who lay down their lives, their resources, and their reputations to defend unborn children from abortion, we pray to the Lord...
That all mothers may experience the profound joy and gratitude of being vessels of life and of faith for their children, we pray to the Lord...That the members of this faith community will pattern their lives on the commandment of Jesus to love one another, we pray to the Lord...That all who have died may receive the blessings which Jesus promises to his friends, let us pray to the Lord...Celebrant:
Father, God of love, you sent Jesus to show us how to live and care for each other. Hear our prayers and help us to discern your will for us. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer for Those Afraid of their Motherhood
Lord God, we thank you, the Source of Life, for all those who have welcomed and nurtured our lives. In particular, we thank you for our mothers, who with trust in you and self-sacrifice beyond description, have made it possible for us to live and praise you today. Give them the reward of their labors.
Today, Lord, we also pray for mothers who are afraid of being mothers. We pray especially for those carrying a child within them, but afraid to bring that child to birth. Look with favor on these, your daughters, and give them trust and strength. Enable them to give themselves to their children, as you give yourself to us, and to experience the joys of motherhood. Enable us to do our part to encourage them and provide for their needs. We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Acts 10:25-26, 34-35, 44-481 Jn 4:7-10Jn 15:9-17
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The readings today teach us that God’s love for us takes precedence over our love for him, and that his choice of us takes precedence over our choice for him. “In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us” (First reading); “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you” (Gospel). In a society that places such a high value on “freedom of choice,” this truth is especially important. It is God’s choice of a human life that gives it value, not our choice. It is God’s decision to entrust us to the care of each other that creates the responsibilities we have toward human life, not the choice we make to be responsible for them.
If our responsibility to love and care for human life, starting with our own children (born and unborn) is rooted in God’s eternal choice and his decision to love us (and those children), then we do not have the moral right to reject that responsibility, love, and life.
Giving life, moreover, is the very revelation of God’s love. “In this way the love of God was revealed to us: God sent hid only Son into the world so that we might have life through him” (First reading). The command given to us to love, therefore, is a command both to receive and give the kind of love God shows. “Love one another as I love you” (Gospel). We are to lay down our lives for one another, which is exactly the opposite of laying down others’ lives for ourselves (as so many do by abortion and other forms of violence).