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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

En español

General Intercessions: [English PDF]
  Celebrant: With confidence inspired by the merciful kindness of God, we now pray. 

Deacon/Lector: 

That our Holy Father, the successor of Peter, may be blessed with health and vigor in proclaiming the Gospel, we pray to the Lord... 

That God may protect our troops as they defend freedom, human dignity, and peace in our world, we pray to the Lord... 

That writers, artists, and performers may inspire people to be compassionate, kind, and respectful of each and every human life from conception to natural death, we pray to the Lord… 

For our enemies, and the enemies of our families, our Church, and our nation, we pray to the Lord... 

That the sick may be consoled, strengthened, and healed, we pray to the Lord... 

That all who have died may be welcomed to the peace and life of heaven, we pray to the Lord... 

Celebrant: 

Father,
your mercy is greater
than our minds can understand.
As you answer our prayers,
give us the grace to love all people
as you love them.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Bulletin Insert:
  For Life and Mercy

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one who has similarly been tested in every way yet without sin.” … “Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.” Most people who have had an abortion later deeply regret that action. We must be the heralds of hope and welcome. Yes, we must invite them to come back home, to Jesus, Who stands ready to forgive them. Indeed, having the mind and heart of Christ, we offer hope, welcome and practical help to those struggling with making a decision about abortion and other life issues and to those who have wrongly decided. They will be forgiven if they are truly contrite and seek out Christ in the person of the priest in the confessional. 

The call to be “for life” is intrinsic to Christ’s call to us at Baptism: “Follow me.” Asking the help of our blessed Mother, let our witness for life be clear, convincing and, above all, Christ-like. After all, as baptized members of the Church, we are “the people of life and for life, and this is how we must present ourselves to everyone” (cf. Evangelium Vitae, 78). 

-- Most Rev. Paul Loverde, Bishop of Arlington  

Homily Suggestions:
  “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?...If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?...Lend expecting nothing back…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” 

This Gospel passage calls us to a high standard of love, set by the example of God himself. It is particularly appropriate to draw out the application of this standard for the pro-life efforts of God’s people. In striving to restore protection to the most vulnerable members of our society – the unborn, and those whose illnesses have rendered them incapable of responding – we are in fact loving those who cannot love us back, and doing good to those who cannot do good in return. Loving the unborn and unresponsive necessarily requires a love that is free of the motive of looking for something in return. 

Nor is that love judgmental, as many abortion supporters accuse us of being. Today’s passage, “Stop judging and you will not be judged” provides preachers with an opportunity to clarify a much abused quote of Jesus. In an age of moral relativism, some try to use this quote to defend relativism, and want it to mean, “Don’t judge anyone for what they do, because you really don’t know if it’s right or wrong. You have your standards and they have theirs. Who are you to say what pleases God?”

Of course, we would not be able to say what pleases God, were it not for the fact that he has told us. Speaking both through reason and his revealed word, God has given us the ability to know right from wrong. In that sense, we can and must judge the difference. What we cannot judge is the inner state of a person’s soul, or the motives of the heart. But if we were not able to judge the difference between right and wrong, then neither could we say “Do not judge,” for that itself is a judgment that judging is wrong. 

When it comes to abortion, we can and must judge the action to be always wrong. Killing a baby is as wrong as killing a person who is walking down the street. We do not condemn the person who does either act, but rather we call them to conversion and forgiveness. Yet neither can we ever claim ignorance that the violence they have committed is never morally tolerable for the children of God. 


Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org