Celebrant: God has taught us to love one another. Out of love for all people, we now bring their needs before the Lord.
That the Church and her leaders throughout the world may follow the example of the apostles, growing in faith despite any kind of trial, we pray to the Lord...
For all those who aspire to public office, that they may learn that true power is found in service, and true wisdom is found in the Word of God, we pray to the Lord…
That the world may see clearly the love we have for the poor, the sick, the oppressed, and the unborn, we pray to the Lord...
For our troops, that they may be protected and that their efforts to secure peace and justice may meet success, we pray to the Lord...
That God may bless and prosper all the activities and organizations of our parish, we pray to the Lord...
For all who have died, that they may be purified of sin and share the joys of heaven, we pray to the Lord...
Father, we thank you for this time of worship.
As you answer our prayers,
deepen our love for you and one another.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Pope to Pro-life Movement: Protect Life with Courage!
Pope Francis said the following to the Italian Pro-life Movement: "I remember once, a long time ago, I participated in a conference with doctors. After the conference I greeted them and while I spoke to them, one of them called me to one side. He had a package and he said to me, 'Father, I want to leave this with you. These are the instruments I have used to carry out abortions. I have encountered the Lord and repented, and now I fight for life'. He gave me all those instruments. Let us pray for this good man…Every Christian has the responsibility of this witness to the Gospel: to protect life with courage and love in all its phases. I encourage you to do this, always with an attitude of closeness and proximity, so that every woman feels considered as a person, listened to, welcomed and accompanied". (April 11, 2014)
Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35
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Tying this weekend’s readings with the theme of life brings us right to the powerful promise in the second reading from Revelation 21, “There shall be no more death.” The Easter season celebrates the basis of this promise: Christ has conquered the kingdom of death by his own death and resurrection, and has given us a share in this victory through our baptism.
Moreover, the victory embraces the entire universe, spiritual and physical: “I…saw a new heaven and a new earth.” Any power that death exercises now, through evils like abortion or the threat of our own death, is a temporary and fleeting power that has lost both its foundation and finality. That’s why the Church proclaims the Gospel of Life with utter confidence, and why we are to engage in pro-life activities with the same confidence. We do not just work “for” victory; we work “from” victory.
Christ’s victory over death, which we now share, is a victory to which we give expression in the world by changing the shape of society and its policies and bringing this world into line with the demands of a culture of life. A new heaven and new earth have already begun in Christ and the Church. “Behold, I make all things new.” These are words God speaks daily. He speaks them to us and through us.
This new order of reality, in which death no longer has the final word, is the context in which the Lord says that his commandment, “love one another,” is “new.” The law and the prophets had already instructed love; but only in Jesus Christ’s victory over sin and death can love and life have the final word. Only in him can we love with a divine as well as human love. Only in him can we love the vulnerable and the unborn, and all people, with the very love that he has, and therefore persevere through the “many hardships” that are necessary “to enter the Kingdom of God” (First reading).