Celebrant: Let us turn to God who gives us bread from heaven and knows all our needs. In faith, we present to him our prayers.
That the Church may be a constant and steadfast sign of God's kingdom in the world, we pray to the Lord...
That Church leaders may lead us to a closer union with Jesus by their word and example, we pray to the Lord...
That governments will exercise their authority and power for the common good of all, we pray to the Lord...
That Christ, who multiplied the loaves, may fill us with active compassion for those whose rights to food, work, and life itself are threatened, we pray to the Lord...
That those who suffer from loneliness or alienation may take comfort in Jesus, who lovingly draws near to all who seek him, we pray to the Lord...
That the suffering and the dying may be strengthened by the love of Jesus and the promise of eternal life, we pray to the Lord...
Father of all that is good, we give you thanks. Hear and answer the prayers we have offered, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Abortion and Contraception
"It is noteworthy that as acceptance and use of contraception have increased in our society, so have acceptance and use of abortion. Couples who unintentionally conceive a child while using contraception are far more likely to resort to abortion than others. Tragically, our society has fallen into a mentality that views children as a burden and invites many to consider abortion as a "backup" to contraceptive failure. This is most obvious in efforts to promote as "emergency contraception" drugs that really act as early abortifacients.
"With Pope John Paul II we affirm that contraception and abortion are "specifically different evils," because only "the latter destroys the life of a human being," but that they are also related (The Gospel of Life, no. 13). It is important to remember that means that are referred to as "contraceptive" are, in reality, sometimes also abortifacient. An end to abortion will not come from contraceptive campaigns but from a deeper understanding of our human sexuality, and of human life, as sacred gifts deserving our careful stewardship” (2001: US Bishops’ Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life).
2 Kgs 4:42-44
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The multiplication of food (First reading; Gospel) is really about the multiplication and extension of life. The signs that God offers in the Old and New Testaments of his ability to multiply food in miraculous ways are really a message to us about his dominion over life, which is the theme echoed in the Second Reading – the “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”
Along with the theme of God’s dominion, we see the theme of human solidarity. The crowd that had to be fed were united with each other in their need. Moreover, even the miraculous solution to their need was not fulfilled without the active collaboration of the boy who gave of the little he had.
The Church’s witness to the sanctity of life is rooted in these two themes – God’s dominion over life, and human solidarity. The God who made us entrusted us to the care of one another. No human choice can trample upon his decision that another human should live, or contradict the solemn duty we have to care for each other rather than destroy each other.