Celebrant: Let us pray to our Father in heaven for ourselves and the needs of the whole world.
That the Church may continue to be a beacon of light and truth in the world, we pray to the Lord…
For all Church leaders, that they preach and teach the truth of the Gospel with courage and conviction, we pray to the Lord…
For all who have had abortions, that St. Paul's message that nothing can separate us from Christ's love will give them strength to seek reconciliation in the Church, we pray to the Lord…
That the Lord may bless the world with his peace and the protection of his love, we pray to the Lord…
That the Lord may heal the sick, comfort the oppressed, and protect us from all natural disasters, we pray to the Lord…
That the Lord will welcome into his heavenly kingdom those who have died, we pray to the Lord…
we come before you in faith and love.
Hear the prayers we offer,
And grant us all we need
To serve you faithfully in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pope Francis: God is Life!
In June of 2013, Pope Francis led a weekend celebration in honor of the Gospel of Life. In his homily, he proclaimed that God is Life, and that being pro-life is a great yes to who God is. He said, “All too often, as we know from experience, people do not choose life, they do not accept the “Gospel of Life” but let themselves be led by ideologies and ways of thinking that block life, that do not respect life, … It is the idea that rejecting … the Gospel of Life, will somehow lead to freedom, to complete human fulfillment. As a result, the Living God is replaced by fleeting human idols which offer the intoxication of a flash of freedom, but in the end bring new forms of slavery and death.” Together, let us choose life!
Rom 8:35, 37-39
Watch a video with homily hints
Abortions do not happen because of “freedom of choice,” but rather because some mothers and fathers feel they have no freedom and no choice. They have needs that they think cannot be met without aborting their child. They are captive to the coercive power of despair.
Today’s readings are about the Lord providing for our needs, issuing an invitation to us to come to him confidently, to trust that he can fulfill all those needs. Fundamentally, of course, this is an invitation to salvation. But salvation is integral; it is bodily as well as spiritual, it is communitarian as well as individual, and it extends its effects to our daily needs, including those related to parenting.
No trial, such as the intense anxieties that can accompany pregnancy, is too great for the love of Christ.
It is in that power and with that confidence that the People of God are not only to come to him for their needs – for the grace to do what is right and choose life in every circumstance – but also that the People of God are to go to others who have such needs and trials, and strengthen them. We are to ‘feed’ one another. The Gospel passage for today does not say that the Lord simply went ahead and fed the crowds himself. It says he ordered his disciples to feed them. They weren’t sure how to do that, but he enabled them to do so.
And so it is today. Together, as the People of Life, we can meet the needs faced by those who are tempted to abort, and we can meet their anguish and distress with the victorious love of Christ.