Celebrant: All our hope lies in the saving death and Resurrection of Christ. Through him, we now present our needs to the Father.
That all bishops, the successors of the apostles, may be steadfast in proclaiming Christ as the only Savior, we pray to the Lord...
That government leaders may turn each day to the Lord of all nations for wisdom, strength, and truth, we pray to the Lord...
That we may build a Culture of Life which welcomes the born and unborn, the stranger and neighbor, and the saint and sinner, we pray to the Lord…
That all who have wandered far from God may find the strength to return and experience his tender mercy, we pray to the Lord...
For all those preparing for baptism at Easter, that they may grow deeper each day in their understanding and acceptance of God's Word, we pray to the Lord...
For all who are alone and forgotten, for the sick, and for all who have been called from this life, we pray to the Lord...
You make all things new
in Jesus your Son.
May we who pray in his name
experience your saving power and love.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Annunciation and Life
"The angel's Annunciation to Mary is framed by these reassuring words: "Do not be afraid, Mary" and "with God nothing will be impossible" (Lk 1:30, 37). The whole of the Virgin Mother's life is in fact pervaded by the certainty that God is near to her and that he accompanies her with his providential care." (Evangelium Vitae, 105). What happened at the Annunciation overcomes the fear and despair that lead to violence. It has been said that the false god transforms suffering into violence, while the true God transforms violence into suffering. Mary, in her "yes," gives courage to all mothers who know that being a mother will involve some suffering. She assures them that they are not alone. The Christian community, following Mary's example, accompany these mothers with their prayers and their active charity, providing alternatives to abortion.
Video with preaching tips
“See, I am doing something new,” the Lord declares today through the Prophet Isaiah.
That is what we proclaim to the world as we build the Culture of Life, and that is what Lent prepares us for. “By your gracious gift each year, your faithful await the sacred paschal feasts with the joy of minds made pure.” (Preface 1 of Lent). The paschal mystery renews the world, and ushers in the new humanity, built on Christ and reconciled with God. That is the source of the Culture of Life.
The error of excluding entire segments of the human family, like the unborn, from personhood and protection, is an error that is old. It crops up throughout human history, and leads to genocide, holocausts, various forms of slavery, segregation and oppression.
But Christ makes all things new. As today’s Gospel passage reveals, he does not condemn us, but reveals to us the mercy that flows from his love for every human life. Yet that mercy is not permission to return to our old life of sin, but rather power that raises us up beyond the life of sin to a new way of responding to the people around us.
Some will maintain that it is not really possible to overcome the culture of death or to stop the advance of abortion, euthanasia, and other forms of violence. But if we are to celebrate the paschal mystery with mind and heart renewed, and are to hear the message, “See, I am doing something new,” then we are called to believe that it really is possible – and we are called to use our gifts and energy to make it real.
In addition to these themes, the homily today may well speak about the post-abortion healing ministries of the Church. A good clearinghouse for such ministries is SilentNoMoreAwareness.org.