Celebrant: Acknowledging that God is the giver of all that is good, we place our needs before his throne.
That the Church may be a witness to the world of true faithfulness to the message of the Gospel, we pray to the Lord.
That the pope, bishops, priests and deacons may continue to preach the Gospel with courage and zeal, we pray to the Lord.
That all who hold public office may seek trustworthy guidance from the Holy Spirit in all matters great and small, we pray to the Lord...
That as we look forward to the coming of Christ, we may actively build a world that seeks justice and respects life at every stage, we pray to the Lord.
That all who are sick and suffering may be restored to health and wholeness according to the will of God, we pray to the Lord.
That those who have died may be united with the glorified saints in heaven, we pray to the Lord.
Celebrant: God our Creator, you bless us with abundant life. Hear the prayers of your grateful servants and answer us in the name of Jesus, who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.
Rededication to the Cause of Life
“In this Pastoral Plan for Pro-Life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life we renew our call for individual Catholics and the many institutions and organizations of the Church to unite in an unprecedented effort to restore respect and legal protection for every human life—to be what the Holy Father asks us to be: a people of life and a people for life (The Gospel of Life, no. 78). It is our hope and expectation that in focusing on the need to respect and protect the lives of the innocent unborn and those who are disabled, ill, or dying, we will help to deepen respect for the life of every human being.” (US Bishops, 2001).
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1 Kgs 17:10-16Heb 9:24-28Mk 12:38-44 or 12:41-44
Today’s readings bring us a “tale of two widows,” both of whom gave when they had every human reason not to. The widow in the first reading prepared something for Elijah although she didn’t have enough for herself and her son. The widow in the Gospel passage gave all her savings.
The Lord’s prophet reassured the first widow; the Lord himself praised the second.
We, the Church, are not widowed. The Bridegroom is with us, and it is from him that we draw the courage to be generous – not just with food and money, but with our witness to the Gospel, and with our taking of risks for building a world of justice and a culture of life. Some feel that they have enough “business to mind” with their own lives, and therefore don’t want to get involved in the lives of others who, for example, are facing the temptation to abort a child. “I have enough problems of my own” is the common temptation. It seems that we barely have enough energy and attention to give our own problems, let alone those of others.
Yet this is precisely where the lesson of the widow’s mite comes in. It applies more to this than to how much money we give away. The human heart expands when it touches God, and it expands to take in the needs, the “business,” of every vulnerable human being. We no longer measure our giving by how much we have; we measure it by how much the other needs. Then, like the miracle that surprised the widow whom Elijah visited, we find our capacity for love and concern is greater than we imagined.