Celebrant: We have been invited to the table of God’s grace. With humility, we present to him our needs.
That the Church may draw every human being, with welcome and joy, to the Kingdom of God and to eternal salvation, we pray to the Lord….
That elected officials may serve with the humility that recognizes that human rights come from God, not from government, we pray to the Lord…
That God may bring his peace to the lonely, to prisoners, to the abandoned, to the poor, and to the unborn, we pray to the Lord…
That educators may guide their students wisely and instill in them, by word and example, the knowledge of God’s truth, we pray to the Lord…
That those who care for the sick may grow in compassion, and always reflect the face and heart of Christ, we pray to the Lord…
That all who have died may be purified of sin and enjoy the vision of God forever, we pray to the Lord…
Father, we praise you
for allowing us to draw close to you.
As you hear our prayers,
open the way for those who are far from you
to also experience your kindness.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“In a pluralistic society, people disagree. It is arrogant to insist that the Church does not have the right to her own teaching. Certainly, a politician has the freedom to reject Church’s teaching. But let’s be honest. To choose to be pro-choice is to reject the Gospel of life. It is to be not faithful to Church teaching. The Church teaches that the right to life is fundamental. Without life, there are no other rights. …Today not only is the taking of so many innocent lives alarming, but no less unsettling is the darkening of conscience among so many who find “it increasingly difficult to distinguish between good and evil in what concerns the basic value of human life” (Evangelium Vitae, 4). Why should the Church not have a right to voice her teaching on this important issue in the public square? She must speak and speak often. Abortion may be for some just a political issue. But, for the innocent child, it is a matter of life or death.” -- Most Reverend Arthur J. Serratelli, S.T.D., S.S.L., D.D, Bishop of Paterson, June 19, 2007.
Sir 3:17-18, 20, 28-29
Heb 12:18-19, 22-24a
Lk 14:1, 7-14
Watch a video with homily hints
Being pro-life is really all about the humility of which today’s first reading and Gospel speak. Humility allows us to see each other and ourselves honestly, as neither more nor less than what we are. Because we see the worth of our own lives and those of our neighbors, we are not led by pride to either oppress or ignore those lives. Rather, humility leads us to serve those lives. Humility keeps us from being fooled by appearances, and led to pay more attention to those who are more rich, famous, or powerful. Instead, we respect and serve the small and lowly. We don’t determine their value, and neither does the law.
“When you have a reception, invite beggars and the crippled, the lame and the blind. You should be pleased that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid in the resurrection of the just.” Here, Jesus urges us to have “eschatological realism.” We are to evaluate today’s choices in the light of what will happen on the last day. This applies perfectly to our service of the unborn. Of anyone we can serve, they are the least able to repay us, or even to know of our efforts on their behalf. Doing the work of the pro-life movement is the most selfless of all kinds of love, for we are loving those who cannot love us back.
Moreover, we are loving those whom today’s psalm calls the forsaken. We are imitating God, “the father of orphans,” who “gives a home to the forsaken and leads forth prisoners to prosperity.”