Celebrant: The infinite mercy of God inspires in us the confidence by which we now approach him with all our needs.
For our Holy Father, all bishops, and the clergy and people united with them, we pray to the Lord…
That world leaders may work for peace with justice, and shape decisions and policies on the fact that all human beings are children of God, we pray to the Lord...
For all in religious life, that their consecrated lives may remind us all that the life we live is not ours, but God’s, we pray to the Lord…
That Christians, justified by faith, may seek deeper unity with fellow Christians of other denominations, we pray to the Lord…
For those in our parish and in our families who are suffering illness or weakness of any kind, that the Holy Spirit may fill their souls and bodies, we pray to the Lord…
That all who have died may be purified of sin and share the vision of heaven, we pray to the Lord…
Father, source of all Life
And source of all Grace,
Hear our prayers,
And grant us perseverance
In living the vocation you have given each of us.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Jubilee of Tears
One of the special events of this Year of Mercy was the "Jubilee of Tears," dedicated to all who mourn. Pope Francis spoke on that occasion of the bitter grief of losing a loved one. He said, , “The bitterest tears…of those who have seen a loved one violently torn from them; the tears of grandparents, mothers and fathers, children; eyes that keep staring at the sunset and find it hard to see the dawn of a new day.” This brings to mind the suffering of those who have participated in some way in the death of an unborn child; parents, grandparents, friends and others. Let's remember especially those mothers who have experienced the horror of having their unborn child “violently torn from them" by abortion. Find resources for healing after abortion at www.AbortionForgiveness.com.
2 Sm 12:7-10, 13
Gal 2:16, 19-21
Lk 7:36—8:3 or 7:36-50
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“The life I live now is not my own...” This bold declaration in the second reading of today indicates the foundation of the pro-life convictions of the Church: we belong to God. This statement from Galatians 2 parallels that in 1 Corinthians 6:19: “You are not your own.” At issue in the pro-life struggle is not simply the question, “When does life begin?” It is, rather, the question, “To whom does life belong?” The fact that each human life belongs to God is what we mean when we say it is “sacred.” Because each life belongs to God, no other human being may own or kill that life, including his own. This is why David’s act of killing Uriah, referenced in the first reading, was condemned by Nathan as evil.
The awesome calling of parents, moreover, is revealed here, since they are entrusted with the gift of life which does not ultimately belong to them but which, nevertheless, they cooperate with the Creator to bring about.
“I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith…” This assertion of Paul shows us another reason why the defense of life is so fundamental to the Church. As John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae, “Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase. Life in time, in fact, is the fundamental condition, the initial stage and an integral part of the entire unified process of human existence” (EV n.2) In other words, we must defend the natural gift of human life, in order that people may, with that foundation secure, take hold of life eternal.
As we proclaim the absolute demands of respect for life, we proclaim the infinite mercy of God even toward those who have taken life. This Sunday’s readings give us an opportunity to renew the Church’s invitation to mothers and fathers alike who have participated in abortion to come to Him for forgiveness and peace.