Celebrant: Blessed are the poor, the sorrowing, and those who seek peace and justice. The truth of these words gives us confidence now to pray.
That the Church may proclaim the Beatitudes with clarity and live them with fidelity, we pray to the Lord...
That the powerful and influential of the world may hear God's word and boast only in the Lord, we pray to the Lord...
That God's people may seek justice by working to save the poorest of the poor, the unborn children in danger of abortion, we pray to the Lord...
For all Catholic schools, that they may grow ever stronger in their mission to impart knowledge and faith, and to enable our children to be strong witnesses to truth, love, and the sanctity of life, we pray to the Lord…
That the sick may find comfort in the lesson of the Beatitudes, and that in their suffering and loneliness they may find the Lord's consolation, we pray to the Lord...
That those who have died, especially those who were ridiculed for their faith, may rejoice in their heavenly reward, we pray to the Lord...
We hunger and thirst for holiness,
And we long for the peace that comes from you.
As you hear our prayers,
Grant us all that is good,
And keep us in your loving care.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court's result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be." Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a "right" so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled. As an act of "raw judicial power" (to use Justice White's biting phrase), the decision by the seven-man majority in Roe v. Wade has so far been made to stick. But the Court's decision has by no means settled the debate. Instead, Roe v. Wade has become a continuing prod to the conscience of the nation.” – President Ronald Reagan, in his book Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation (1983).
Zep 2:3; 3:12-13
1 Cor 1:26-31
Click here for a video link with homily hints.
It would be hard to find a set of readings more appropriate for comment on pro-life themes than those of this weekend. The Beatitudes (Gospel) are all about turning upside-down the way the world evaluates who is important and worthy of attention. The Lord and the Church point us to “those who count for nothing” (Second Reading) in the eyes of the world as those specially favored by God. When the Beatitudes speak of the “poor,” they do not only mean those who are materially deprived. Scripture refers to the “poor” as those who are completely dependent upon God, those who have no worldly help, those who have been marginalized.
The unborn are the poorest of the poor. In the eyes of so many in the world, and in the eyes of the law, they “count for nothing”. They have little or no defense. They are the ones, above all, to whom the words of today’s responsorial psalm can be applied: “The Lord…secures justice for the oppressed; the Lord sets captives free…and raises up those that were bowed down.”
The Lord does this, of course, through his people, who, as the Beatitudes say, “are sorrowing” (because they weep over the injustices of the world, like abortion); “hunger and thirst for justice” (to see the rights of all respected); “show mercy” (particularly to those in danger of death); are “peacemakers” (for, as Mother Teresa said, the greatest destroyer of peace is abortion); and “are insulted and persecuted for my sake” (as many pro-life activists are).
The Lord secures justice, as the psalm says. Therefore, Zephaniah urges the Lord’s people, “seek justice,” and the Beatitudes declare that those who do so are blessed. To be like God we must do the works of God. Today let us call God’s people to active involvement in the pro-life cause.