Celebrant: With sincere hearts, we present our needs and the needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ to our heavenly Father.
That the prayer and worship of the Church may inspire her members to live their faith more fully each day, we pray to the Lord.
That the pope, bishops, priests and religious may be encouraged by the Spirit as they teach all people around the world the Good News, we pray to the Lord.
That Christians everywhere will embrace their call to seek greater justice in our world, where the life, dignity and rights of the born and unborn are respected and defended, we pray to the Lord.
For attorneys, judges, and all who work in our courts, that they may grow in wisdom and in their commitment to justice tempered with mercy, we pray to the Lord…
That those who have died believing in Christ may enjoy the glory of the heavenly kingdom, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: God of mercy, you know all our needs and you sustain us in your service. We thank you for your faithfulness and love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“In a democratic society citizens choose whom they vest with authority for the common good. A choice for one person over another for public office can significantly affect many lives, especially the lives of the most vulnerable persons in society, such as children in the womb and those who are terminally ill. Therefore, Catholic citizens have a serious moral obligation to exercise their right to vote, whether on the national, state or local level” (Bishops of Kansas, “Moral Principles for Catholic Voters,” August 15, 2006).
Mk 9:38-43, 45, 47-48
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The Word of God calls us to have a “non-territorial” attitude. Today’s First Reading and Gospel passage both illustrate that if the Lord has given us a mission, we should rejoice when we find others doing the same mission, rather than having a “turf war” with them. This applies to ministries throughout the Church, and in reference to the pro-life mission, Pope St. John Paul II addressed this point in “The Gospel of Life” when he declared, “No single person or group has a monopoly on the defense and promotion of life. These are everyone's task and responsibility. On the eve of the Third Millennium, the challenge facing us is an arduous one: only the concerted efforts of all those who believe in the value of life can prevent a setback of unforeseeable consequences for civilization” (n. 91).
In regard to that Pro-life mission, furthermore, the second part of today’s Gospel passage represents one of the rationales by which we call people to great sacrifice to protect and preserve life, whether of the unborn, the terminally ill and disabled, or anyone else. To directly take the life of another innocent person is to commit the kind of offense against God that the Lord commands us to avoid at all costs. In the case of abortion, it may not be one’s hand or eye that leads to sin, but rather one’s friends or other relationships. What young, scared, pregnant mothers fear they will lose by choosing life is usually far less than they imagine. But whatever the cost, when faced with making a sacrifice or sacrificing another, the Lord clearly tells us the right road.