Celebrant: Like the Canaanite woman, we now approach the Lord with persistent faith and ask Him to grant what we need.
That the Church in every community may continue to be a house of prayer for all people, we pray to the Lord...
That many may hear and answer God's call to become priests, deacons, and religious brothers and sisters, we pray to the Lord...
That we may do more to welcome, cherish, and protect the gift of life which, like all God's gifts, is irrevocable, we pray to the Lord...
That those who are vacationing may draw closer to the Lord and find refreshment in body and spirit, we pray to the Lord...
That the sick, the poor, and the lonely may find the consolation of God's presence and the love of His people, we pray to the Lord...
That those who have died may be purified of sin and rejoice in the eternal life of heaven, we pray to the Lord...
in this house of prayer, we turn to You.
Grant what we have asked you,
and keep us faithful to Your will.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Pope and the Abortionist
On the morning of April 11, 2014, the Holy Father spoke to the Italian Movement for Life. Here is an excerpt of his address: "Human life is sacred and inviolable…. Every civil right is based on the recognition of the first, fundamental right, the right to life, which is not subject to any condition, of a qualitative, economic and certainly not of an ideological nature. … Therefore it is necessary to reaffirm our solid opposition to any direct offence against life, especially when innocent and defenseless, and the unborn child in its mother's womb is the quintessence of innocence. Let us remember the words of Vatican Council II: 'Therefore from the moment of its conception life must be guarded with the greatest care while abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes'. …I remember once, a long time ago, I participated in a conference with doctors. After the conference I greeted them and while I spoke to them, one of them called me to one side. He had a package and he said to me, 'Father, I want to leave this with you. These are the instruments I have used to carry out abortions. I have encountered the Lord and repented, and now I fight for life'. He gave me all those instruments. Let us pray for this good man".
Is 56:1, 6-7
Rom 11:13-15, 29-32
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Catholic means “universal.” Everyone is called to salvation in Christ; everyone is called to his house of prayer, his Church, his family. The Church, at her core, is missionary, and all her efforts are geared toward an ever-wider expansion and growth, that she may embrace every human being.
This universality, reflected in all of today’s readings, is rooted ultimately in the meaning of the Incarnation itself. "By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being" (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 22). This reality raises the dignity of human life beyond what it already had as God’s creation in his own image, and is also the basis for the urgency of the task to announce the Gospel to all people, that they may know the meaning and promise of the dignity they have.
“The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable,” as today’s second reading tells us. That is why the Church is pro-life, and why, as Paul VI declared in Humanae Vitae and John Paul II repeated in Evangelium Vitae, “this tradition is unchanged and unchangeable” (EV 62). Our stance in favor of life, and in defense of life, does not spring from us, or from some inclination we have toward a particular philosophy, ideology, or political platform. It is based, rather, in “the gifts and the call of God,” which “are irrevocable” and universal. He has chosen to create and redeem us, and reserve a place for us on his throne. His choice is what makes human life sacred, and is the basis for our choices.
Today’s readings, therefore, provide a foundation for a strong affirmation of the essential and integral pro-life stance of the Church, of its meaning and origin, and of the need for that pro-life witness to be given to the whole world and to every culture and subculture.