Celebrant: We have been called to a holy life. We now pray for the graces God has prepared for us before the world began.
That the whole world may acknowledge that Jesus is the Son of God, and that the way to peace is to listen to Him, we pray to the Lord...
That Jesus, who "has robbed death of its power," may grant us a Culture of Life, free from the evils of abortion, euthanasia, and all forms of violence and oppression, we pray to the Lord...
That all parents, priests, teachers, and catechists may be effective as they impart the teachings of God's Son to our children, we pray to the Lord...
For the safety of our military and the security of our country, we pray to the Lord...
For all those who feel alone because of personal or professional problems, or because their rights are not respected, we pray to the Lord...
That the sick may be comforted and healed, and that those who have died may share the joys of heaven, we pray to the Lord...
Hear our prayers,
And may our observance of Lent
Make us ever more faithful to You.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Men suffer too
The following is a letter written by a man who lost his son to abortion:
Dear John Peter,
In the fall, John, when the leaves fall from the trees I shall think of you, for you too fell from life. In the cold of winter, John, the snow shall remind me of you: for like the snow you were and are white and pure. In the spring, John, I shall think of you: for the birth of spring shall remind me that you, too should have been born into this world. John, I shall think of you in the summer: I shall imagine your laughter. I shall see you as you might have been, a little boy running and playing, scraping your knees from a fall. I shall miss, John, all that I might have gained from your life.
May you rest in the arms of God,
2 Tm 1:8b-10
Watch a video with homily hints
As Paul writes to Timothy in today’s second reading, Jesus Christ “destroyed death and brought life.” That is the core of the Gospel, and that is the subject of the conversation that Jesus has with Moses and Elijah during the Transfiguration (Luke’s account of what we read today from Matthew identifies the subject of the conversation – see Lk. 9:31). The word used there for the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus is “exodus,” reminding us of the great act of liberation in the Old Testament that prefigured the Paschal Mystery.
The exodus was not easy for God’s people, nor was the passion easy for Christ. Yet these were the paths to the destruction of death and the revelation of life. So it is for us, who – as individuals and as a society – are called to make the transition from a culture of death to a culture of life. It is like what Abram is asked to do in the first reading – to leave all that is familiar, comfortable, and predictable, and to set out for “a land that I will show you.” This requires absolute trust. Abram, after all, has been where he is for a long time. Is this any time to change?
When we talk about ending abortion in our society, we encounter the same kind of question. The resistance to the idea of abolishing this practice arises not so much from the conviction that abortion is acceptable as from the conviction that it’s too late to change things. The Supreme Court said as much when it came close to reversing Roe vs. Wade in 1992, but ended up concluding in Planned Parenthood v. Casey that women have come to rely for too long on the availability of abortion.
Just on a popular level, people wonder what changes will occur in society when so many children, now being aborted, are born instead. “Will society be able to handle the change?” is the question they ask. Incidentally, the same kind of question was asked when society was faced with the question of whether slavery should be abolished. How will society handle the slaves who will now roam free?
And, of course, the question of how to handle the change is also asked on a very personal and individual level by the pregnant mother who is not sure she can continue the pregnancy.
It is Abram being asked to leave the comfortable and familiar and set out for a whole new land, a new way of life, and a new fruitfulness. It is the People of God at the edge of the Red Sea, wondering how it can open. It is the apostles on the Mount of the Transfiguration, wondering what this vision means, and what it means “to rise from the dead.” The message for God’s people today is that we are to move forward into the frightening and unfamiliar changes that are required for those committed to doing what is right.