Celebrant: God provides for the needs of his children. As people of faith, we present the needs of our Church and the world to our generous Father.
That the Church may always keep focused on Christ and on the mission to proclaim God's kingdom, we pray to the Lord.
That the leaders of the Church may make their decisions guided by the Holy Spirit and may bring us to a greater love for Jesus, we pray to the Lord.
That all citizens may exercise their duty to vote in this Tuesday's elections, as a way of advancing the common good and the dignity of human life, we pray to the Lord.
For the grace to see and love each person as a neighbor like ourselves, including the unborn, the outcast, the burdensome, the stranger, and the criminal, we pray to the Lord.
That the families of our parish may be strengthened in their love for one another by the love and witness of our parish community, we pray to the Lord.
That the deceased members of our families may be welcomed into the presence of God's love for eternity, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: Lord God, hear these prayers which we bring to you from the depths of our hearts. Answer us, we pray, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Vote this Tuesday!
“We encourage all citizens, particularly Catholics, to embrace their citizenship not merely as a duty and privilege, but as an opportunity meaningfully to participate in building the culture of life. Every voice matters in the public forum. Every vote counts. Every act of responsible citizenship is an exercise of significant individual power. We must exercise that power in ways that defend human life, especially those of God's children who are unborn, disabled or otherwise vulnerable. We get the public officials we deserve. Their virtue -- or lack thereof -- is a judgment not only on them, but on us. Because of this, we urge our fellow citizens to see beyond party politics, to analyze campaign rhetoric critically, and to choose their political leaders according to principle, not party affiliation or mere self-interest” (US Bishops, Living the Gospel of Life, n. 34).
Christ puts the second commandment together with the first. “There is no other commandment greater than these.” The close relationship between these two commandments is discussed at length in the First Letter of John, in which he makes it clear that the failure to love the neighbor we see, and to attend to his needs, makes it impossible to love the God we do not see.
These two closely-related commandments provide the core of the Church’s efforts to defend the unborn and the vulnerable. Because we love God with all our mind, heart, soul, and strength, we cannot place our own plans and choices above His choice to create human life and entrust it to our care. Moreover, we realize that religious piety is never meant to turn us in on ourselves, but rather to make us more attentive and responsive to the needs of the vulnerable. We love our neighbor – including our unborn neighbor – “like ourselves,” which means that we recognize the unborn as a person like ourselves. Some say the unborn are too small, or too unlike us in their characteristics, to be considered a neighbor, a person. But the second commandment requires that we see every human being as a neighbor “like ourselves,” and therefore love them.
This demand of love is greater than any other commandment. Often, it is the claim to observe other commandments that keeps people from intervening to save the unborn. We have legal concerns, often exaggerated. We shrink back because of human respect. We are afraid to part with certain possessions, relationships, or guarantees of security. And sometimes even those to whom we must answer tell us to “tone it down” regarding our outspoken defense of the unborn. But “there is no greater commandment than these.” We are to love our unborn neighbor just as we love our born neighbor, and without reserve.