Celebrant: Having heard God's Word, let us together ask for the gifts of His Spirit for the Church and the world.
For our Pope and all the bishops, that they may rejoice to teach the commandments of God and lead all people in the ways of the Holy Spirit, we pray to the Lord...
That government leaders everywhere may work to end religious persecution and defend the freedoms of the Church, we pray to the Lord...
That the Spirit of Truth may enable all people to see that human life at every stage must be respected and protected, and that no person has the right to choose to kill another, we pray to the Lord...
For all new graduates, that they may use the knowledge and skills they have acquired to advance God's Kingdom, we pray to the Lord...
That the sick and those who suffer in any way may be consoled by the Holy Spirit and strengthened by the love and presence of others, we pray to the Lord...
That all who have died may share in the gift and promise of eternal life, we pray to the Lord...
We ask today for the gift
Of obedience to Your Truth.
In the abiding presence of Your Spirit,
Grant all that we need.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Susan B. Anthony (1889), abolitionist and early leader of the women's suffrage movement, opposed abortion, saying: "Sweeter even than to have had the joy of caring for children of my own has it been to me to help bring about a better state of things for mothers generally, so their unborn little ones could not be killed away from them."
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
1 Pt 3:15-18
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When our Lord promises in today’s Gospel passage, “I will come to you,” he is referring to the presence of his Holy Spirit, who does not bring a new divinity or a new Gospel, but rather precisely the presence of Jesus Christ. The Lord’s constant promise of “life” comes to fulfillment with the outpouring of the Spirit of Life; therefore Jesus can say, “I live and you will live.”
The preaching of this weekend, therefore, can focus on the relationship between Easter and the approaching Feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. The victory of Christ over death is shared with all his people: He brings our humanity to the heights of heaven and pours out his life-giving Spirit.
The truth brought out in today’s passage regarding the “Advocate” is also crucial to the Church’s role in building the Culture of Life. Jesus Christ himself is our first Advocate (see 1 John 2:1 – “If anyone does sin, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one”). Now, that Advocate is promising us “Another Advocate” who will be with us always – the Holy Spirit. Indeed, the Spirit advocates for us in the heights of heaven, that all the power of the redemptive work of Christ might have its full effect.
But if the Spirit, who is an Advocate, fills us, he makes us advocates! He gives speech to the tongue, as we will see even more powerfully at Pentecost. He makes us advocates for the helpless, just as he advocates for us when we cannot save ourselves. The pro-life work of the People of God springs from this aspect of the Holy Spirit, who makes us advocates for those who cannot speak for themselves – the unborn and all the vulnerable.