Celebrant: We believe in a God who raises the dead and defeats the power of evil. Therefore, it is with great confidence that we now pray for our needs and those of the whole Church.
That the Pope, bishops, and priests of the Church may be faithful heralds of the Gospel, and enjoy the loving support of their people, we pray to the Lord...
That civil governments suffering from unrest or instability may be given the gifts of peace and tranquility, and may secure the rights of all their citizens, we pray to the Lord...
That all those who persecute the Church may experience conversion and embrace the salvation found in Christ Jesus, we pray to the Lord...
That the Gospel, which proclaims the raising of the dead, may give comfort to those who mourn the loss of a child by miscarriage or abortion, we pray to the Lord...
That those who are ill may turn with faith to the saving power of God, and that those in the medical profession may be blessed in their healing work, we pray to the Lord...
For all who have died, and for all who comfort those who mourn, we pray to the Lord...
You hear our prayers
With a love beyond all our imagining.
As you fulfill our needs,
Keep us faithful and joyful in serving you.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Be Protectors of God's Gifts!
At his installation as Pope on March 19, 2013, Pope Francis preached the following words, which show us why we as a Church reject abortion and euthanasia, which kill the vulnerable rather than protect them: "The vocation of being a “protector”… is not just something involving us Christians alone; it also has a prior dimension which is simply human, involving everyone. It means protecting all creation, the beauty of the created world, as the Book of Genesis tells us and as Saint Francis of Assisi showed us. It means respecting each of God’s creatures and respecting the environment in which we live. It means protecting people, showing loving concern for each and every person, especially children, the elderly, those in need, who are often the last we think about. It means caring for one another in our families: husbands and wives first protect one another, and then, as parents, they care for their children, and children themselves, in time, protect their parents."
1 Kgs 17:17-24
Watch a video with homily suggestions
Both the first reading and the Gospel speak to us today about a mother, with no husband, who loses her son, and then a man of God -- in the case of Jesus, the Son of God -- gives the child back to his mother, alive. In both cases, this victory of life over death for a woman's child is a sign of God's favor. God is in the business of destroying death and restoring life, which, in the end, he will do for us all.
This is a key characteristic of the mission of the Church and of each member of the People of God: be a sign of God's preference for life over death, a sign of the power of life over death. We cannot raise the dead as Elijah and Jesus did, but we can save children from death through our involvement in the pro-life movement. The witness, the words, and the compassionate intervention of the pro-life works of the Church bring to pass each day the words of today's Psalm, "You preserved me from among those going down into the pit," and the words of the Gospel, "Jesus gave him back to his mother."
A further application of this theme is in the whole arena of healing after abortion. Each day, through ministries like RachelsVineyard.org, parents who have lost children to abortion are experiencing what it means that "Jesus gave him back to his mother." They are led, by the Word of God and the sacraments, to life-giving repentance, to reclaiming their responsibility for their children, and to experiencing the hope that both they and their children are in the hand of God and will be reunited one day. The hope given by today's readings can be the opportunity to call people to healing and to be witnesses both to life and to mercy.