Celebrant: We trust and hope in the goodness of the Lord, and we bring to Him our needs, the needs of the Church, and those of the whole world.
That the Church may faithfully carry out its mission to gather people to God by proclaiming and living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we pray to the Lord.
That all priests may be strengthened in their vocations, and that all the faithful may support their priests with prayer, gratitude, and active collaboration, we pray to the Lord.
That the youth of our society and of the Church may hear the voice of the Lord and fully utilize all the gifts he gives them for the service of others, we pray to the Lord.
That our eyes may be opened to see more clearly the dignity of every human life, whether healthy or sick, convenient or inconvenient, born or unborn, we pray to the Lord.
That those who are sick or homebound may be comforted and assured of our ongoing prayer for them, we pray to the Lord.
That those who have died may know the peace of the heavenly kingdom in the company of the angels and saints, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: Almighty God, you are the source of every blessing and we give you praise and thanks. Accept our humble prayers and grant what we need according to your holy will, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Where we begin…
“In protecting human life, we must begin with a commitment never to intentionally kill, or collude in the killing, of any innocent human life, no matter how broken, unformed, disabled or desperate that life may seem. We urge Catholics and others to promote laws and social policies that protect human life and promote human dignity to the maximum degree possible. Laws that legitimize abortion, assisted suicide, and euthanasia are profoundly unjust and immoral. We support constitutional protection for unborn human life, as well as legislative efforts to end abortion and euthanasia” (Faithful Citizenship, US Bishops, 2003).
Jer 31:7-9Heb 5:1-6Mk 10:46-52
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The Gospel passage today about Jesus’ response to Bartimaeus epitomizes a key aspect of the Church’s teachings on social justice, namely, our preferential option for the poor. A “sizable crowd” was passing by, and the center of attention was Jesus. Not only were people not paying attention to the man by the side of the road, but his cries proved to be a nuisance, and people tried to silence him. Bartimaeus symbolizes the marginalized of our society, the inconvenient and burdensome – in short, the unwanted. Crowds pass them by every day and don’t even want to think about them.
Jesus, however, pays attention neither to the crowd nor to those who tried to eliminate the nuisance. He paid attention to the man at the margins. And he called him and healed him.
As we promote a Culture of Life, there are some who want to silence even further the already silent screams of the unborn, who constitute the most marginalized and oppressed segment of humanity today. Yet as a Church we are called to give “urgent attention and priority” to these children (see the Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities of the US Bishops, 2001). We are called to embody the response of Christ, ignoring the rebukes of the “politically correct” segments of our society, and identifying ourselves with the “man at the margins.” Not only is this an imitation of Christ, but it is a fulfillment in our day of the prophecy of Jeremiah that we hear in the first reading. God’s promise regarding his scattered and oppressed people is, “I will gather them.” That’s what the pro-life effort of the Church does – it gathers back together those who are scattered by the legal fiction that their lives are not equal to the rest of people; it restores protection to those who would otherwise be scattered by the physical violence of abortion.