Celebrant: With trust in the power of God's word to change our lives and to change our world, we entrust all our needs to Him.
That all Christians will share the message of the Gospel, with all its radical demands, while showing respect for the beliefs of others, we pray to the Lord...
That God, the great Sower of the Gift of Life, may see that gift welcomed and celebrated by all His people, and never trampled underfoot, we pray to the Lord…
That all who teach God's Word in pulpits and classrooms, in Bible studies and prayer groups, and in their own families, may be ever more effective and faithful, we pray to the Lord...
For an increase in the numbers of priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters throughout the Church, we pray to the Lord...
For the sick, the poor, the unemployed, the marginalized, and the forgotten, we pray to the Lord...
For all who have died, that they be given a place of rest and peace in God's eternal Kingdom, we pray to the Lord...
Father, We thank you for your Word. As you hear our prayers, May we always hear you ever more clearly, And be faithful to your call. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
An Abortion Testimony
The following words were written by one of the many women whose abortion testimonies can be found at www.priestsforlife.org/testimonies.
“I went to Planned Parenthood for a pregnancy test. They didn't do ANY counseling about fetal development or alternatives. An abortion was "the answer" just because I didn't want to be pregnant yet, even though I was happily married and had no financial problems, etc. etc.
“I was treated like a cow. There was no explanation AT ALL by the abortionist regarding ANYTHING that could have helped me think twice about "my" decision to have an abortion. Of course, it wasn't really "my" decision at all. Everybody else decided for me. My husband didn't want me to abort, but all the professionals "knew better what was best for me."
“I still cannot tell anyone else about it, even though it's been over 20 years now. It's made me very pro-life, because I KNOW the deceit that goes on in so-called "counseling." Not one day goes by that I don't think about it with regret and sorrow.
“I also have accepted the Lord as my Savior, and that has helped.”
Is 55:10-11Rom 8:18-23Mt 13:1-23 or 13:1-9
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The whole world was created by the Word of God. Genesis shows God creating by speaking, and John’s Gospel points out in the first chapter that this Word that God spoke in the beginning was in fact Christ. Paul expounds the same truth in the first chapter of Colossians, which in fact contains a commentary on the first verse of the Bible. Christ is that “beginning” of which Genesis speaks, and “all things were created by him and for him.”
When, therefore, today’s readings speak about the fruitfulness of the Word of God – Isaiah declaring that the word accomplishes the end for which it is sent, and Jesus explaining how the seed will bear fruit – they are not to be understood only in a spiritual sense. The fruitfulness of the Word is also physical, starting with human life itself. Mary said, “Be it done unto me according to your word,” and by that word the physical conception of Christ took place.
Likewise, the conception and birth of each human being is a fulfillment of the promises in today’s readings. When did God decide that you or the people around you should start to exist? The answer is, “From all eternity.” There was never a time when God did not intend each living person to exist, nor when he did not have definitive plans for each person’s life.
“My word will not return to me void.” The plan, the eternal word, that God has for each person, is not to return void because of a veto on our part. Contraception, abortion, and euthanasia all constitute an offensive “No” to this Word, an attempt to veto an eternal decision of God regarding the fruitfulness of each life. Part of the reason for these “vetoes” is the “worldly anxiety” referred to in the Gospel. This anxiety leads to the temptation to cut off the fruitfulness of life.
Yet Paul, in the second reading, puts those anxieties in an eschatological perspective, inviting us to hold firm through life’s difficulties and continue saying yes to God’s plan. Interestingly, it is precisely the reality of childbirth that he uses to describe the full unfolding of God’s plan for all creation.