Celebrant: As brothers and sisters in faith, we gather our prayers and petitions and offer them to our generous God.
That our Holy Father and all who are entrusted with teaching God’s Word may be blessed with wisdom and courage, we pray to the Lord...
That the leaders of the world who have the task of governing may carry out their duties with justice and maintain peace among nations, we pray to the Lord...
That nations may repent of the sins of abortion, euthanasia, and neglect of the poor and weak, and may reform their laws to protect every human life, we pray to the Lord...
That Christians may join together across denominational lines to help the hungry and homeless, we pray to the Lord...
That those who have died may enjoy the peace of God’s kingdom, and that those who grieve for them may be comforted, we pray to the Lord...
Celebrant: Father, send your spirit upon us and strengthen our faith. As you answer our prayers, grant that we may grow in your grace. We ask this though Christ our Lord.
A Tragic Commemoration
On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court, in the Roe vs. Wade decision, made its worst mistake in history. By declaring that children in the womb are not “persons,” it opened the door to tens of millions of abortions. The website of the Alan Guttmacher Institute (formerly the research arm of Planned Parenthood, which is the single largest source of abortions in America), states, “From 1973 through 2011, nearly 53 million legal abortions occurred.” It also points out that “Twenty-one percent of all pregnancies (excluding miscarriages) end in abortion,” and that abortions at 21 weeks of pregnancy or later number somewhere around 12,720 per year in America. In 2011, there were 1.06 million abortions in our country. Indeed, as we mark another Roe vs. Wade commemoration, it is time for all of us to get involved in the efforts to end abortion. Visit www.TenStepsToEndAbortion.com to learn what you can do.
Jon 3:1-5, 10
1 Cor 7:29-31
Watch a video with homily hints
January 22, 1973 was the date of the tragic Roe vs. Wade decision. Its commemoration is rightly marked by readings that accent the theme of repentance. “Repent” is the first message of Jesus as he begins his public ministry (today’s Gospel). It was also the first message of John the Baptizer as he began preparing the way for Christ (Mark 1:4), and was the first theme that Peter proclaimed on the first Pentecost (Acts 2:38). The preaching of Jonah foreshadowed all of this, and the work of the Church today echoes it.
Many believers, as they learn more about the facts of abortion and Roe vs. Wade, think that our first spiritual duty in the face of abortion is to pray. But it is not. Our first duty is to repent. God does not simply prohibit us from committing abortion. He prohibits us from tolerating it. He calls us to become active in fighting it.
Today provides an excellent opportunity to sound the call of repentance and to educate the parishioners on some of the key facts of Roe vs. Wade, such as can be found in the bulletin insert above, and also at the website www.secondlookproject.org. Simply knowing that Roe vs. Wade permitted far more than they thought helps many people to start doing more for the pro-life effort than they ever did.