Celebrant: We who are baptized have died and risen with Christ. In the strength and joy of this new life, let us lift up our prayers to the Lord.
That all who are not baptized will, through the preaching of the Church, be led to accept the grace and call of God to receive His new life, we pray to the Lord...
That Christians who serve us in government may place their loyalty to Christ above every political and personal loyalty, we pray to the Lord...
For the strength to welcome Christ as He comes to us in the stranger, the sick, the imprisoned, and the unborn child, we pray to the Lord…
That the millions of refugees in the world may receive brotherly love and concrete aid from all Christians, we pray to the Lord...
For those who are far from the sacraments, that with trust in God's forgiveness they may confess their sins and join us again at the table of the Eucharist, we pray to the Lord...
For all in our parish and families who are sick, and for our departed loved ones, we pray to the Lord...
As you answer our prayers,
Grant that we may love you
Above all people and things,
And come to the eternal joys
Of Your Kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The United States Catholic Bishops wrote to us as follows in their document on Faithful Citizenship (2007) about the preeminent moral issues we fact in society today. They explain, “In our nation, ‘abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good and the condition for all others’ (Living the Gospel of Life, no. 5). It is a mistake with grave moral consequences to treat the destruction of innocent human life merely as a matter of individual choice. A legal system that violates the basic right to life on the grounds of choice is fundamentally flawed” (n.22)
2 Kings 4, 8-11 and 14-16
Romans 6, 3-4 and 8-11
Matthew 10, 37-42
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The readings of today are all about life and welcome, and the relationship between the two. As a result of welcoming Elisha, the holy man of God, the woman of Shunem is given the gift of a child. As a result of welcoming Christ, the Holy One of God, we are all given the new life of which the second reading speaks. These readings have immediate application to the theme of welcoming the representatives of God who come preaching his word. Yet the theme of welcome extends likewise to every human being. Christ is the one who welcomes us into the life he shares with the Father, and therefore the only appropriate response for us -- as individuals and as a community -- is to extend welcome to all whom Christ welcomes, that is, to every human life. It would be a contradiction to accept the welcome of Christ but to reject another human life.
In welcoming other human lives, furthermore, it is necessary to apply the first part of the Gospel reading, namely, the embracing of the cross and the bringing of ourselves to nought. This is the opposite of the self-centered assertion of "pro-choice" and "my rights, my life." In contradiction to the idea that we are fulfilled by asserting ourselves (even at the cost of the life of an unborn child), the Lord teaches here that it is precisely in self-giving that we find ourselves. Parents give themselves to their children, whether born or in the womb, and in so doing they experience the very love of Christ and the life to which that love leads.