Celebrant: God's Providence governs history as well as the course of our own lives. Trusting in that loving providence, we now bring the Lord all the needs of our one human family.
That the Church may proclaim with joyful hope the resurrection of the dead in Jesus Christ, we pray to the Lord…
That world leaders may secure religious liberty for people of every nation, we pray to the Lord…
For all who labor on the land and gather the earth’s harvest, we pray to the Lord…
That the sick may be consoled, the lonely comforted, and all the oppressed set free, we pray to the Lord…
That all who have died may rejoice in eternal peace, we pray to the Lord…
Lord, continue to protect us with your grace.
Provide for our needs,
That we may always trust you
And serve you faithfully.
Grant this through Christ our Lord.
"The terrible miscalculation of young women is that abortion can make them "un-pregnant," that it will restore them to who they were before their crisis. But a woman is never the same once she is pregnant, whether the child is kept, adopted, or killed. Abortion may be a kind of resolution, but it is not the one the woman most deeply longs for, nor will it even preserve her sense of self." Paul Swope, "Abortion: A Failure to Communicate"
2 Mc 7:1-2, 9-14
2 Thes 2:16—3:5
Lk 20:27-38 or 20:27, 34-38
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Today's readings are about the victory of life over death, of fidelity over circumstances. The clear affirmation that God will raise the dead shows that death cannot and will not have the last word in the human story. God is in the business of destroying death, as he had foretold in Isaiah 25 when he said, "I will remove the veil that veils all people, the web that is woven over all nations; I will destroy death forever."
To stand with God is to stand with life; to stand with life is to stand against whatever destroys it. We who work to transform a culture of death into a culture of life begin with this affirmation that God has already won the victory over death. We do not "wonder if" we will be successful in overcoming abortion, euthanasia, and other forms of violence. Rather, we declare these evils defeated and, from a stance of victory, strive to bring all society into line with a victory already obtained.
The theme of fidelity in difficult circumstances, as those in the First Reading faced, provides a context for the help we give to those in difficult pregnancies. By our faithfulness to what is right, even if it seems we are going to lose our own lives in the process (literally or figuratively), we end up with the fullness of life.
Martyrdom is exactly the opposite of suicide. In suicide, one declares oneself to be the owner and disposer of one's life. In martyrdom, one declares that God alone is owner and disposer of one's life, which means that one can neither take it nor hold on to it at the cost of betraying Him.