Celebrant: Confident in God's eternal love and concern for our daily needs, we offer our prayers and petitions to him.
That the Church may encourage all the labor by which the laity shape society in accordance with the Gospel, we pray to the Lord.
For all teachers and school administrators, that the wisdom of the Holy Spirit may guide their important work, we pray to the Lord…
For widows and orphans, for the marginalized and the oppressed, and for the unborn children in danger of being aborted, we pray to the Lord...
That those burdened with illness may know the love that Jesus has for them through the love and care extended by their families and friends, we pray to the Lord...
That those who have died may rest with the Lord for all eternity in the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord...
Celebrant: Father, we ask you to hear and answer these prayers which we spoken and those which remain within our heats. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
From our bishops: “Things have gone too far…”
“In the United States abortion is legal throughout pregnancy. Yet abortion is a violation of human rights incomparable in magnitude and an atrocity for the whole human family. While Roe v. Wade appeared to create a right with some limitations, Doe v. Bolton, which was decided the same day, erased those limitations by creating a "health" exception so broad that it effectively allows abortion for any reason at any time… Most Americans are surprised and shocked to learn about the lack of any meaningful legal limitations for abortion. Most know things have gone too far. Together with those from many other faith communities, we work to bring about a society that recognizes abortion for what it truly is” (A Matter of the Heart -- A Statement of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops on the Thirtieth Anniversary of Roe v. Wade)
Dt 4:1-2, 6-8
Jas 1:17-18, 21b-22, 27
Mk 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23
Watch a video with homily hints
The Culture of Life will come about when we practice the “true religion” of which James speaks in the second reading. “Looking after orphans and widows in their distress” is what the pro-life movement does. The unborn child is the most orphaned of all when he or she is scheduled for an abortion. “Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me” – and the Lord receives them precisely through his people practicing “true religion.” The mothers of these children may not be widowed in the sense that their husbands died, but they experience very often the absence of the father of the child, who may in fact be the one pressuring them to abort.
The Gospel passage makes it clear that the building of the Culture of Life comes “from within,” just as do the death-producing ways of thinking that lead to the Culture of Death. The culture must be shaped by external factors, including law, and these factors can powerfully shape the heart. Yet from within the depth of the heart will spring our readiness to give life, welcome life, and defend life.