Is 56:1, 6-7
Rom 11:13-15, 29-32
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Catholic means “universal.” Everyone is called to salvation in Christ; everyone is called to his house of prayer, his Church, his family. The Church, at her core, is missionary, and all her efforts are geared toward an ever-wider expansion and growth, that she may embrace every human being.
This universality, reflected in all of today’s readings, is rooted ultimately in the meaning of the Incarnation itself. "By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being" (Vatican II, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 22). This reality raises the dignity of human life beyond what it already had as God’s creation in his own image, and is also the basis for the urgency of the task to announce the Gospel to all people, that they may know the meaning and promise of the dignity they have.
“The gifts and the call of God are irrevocable,” as today’s second reading tells us. That is why the Church is pro-life, and why, as Paul VI declared in Humanae Vitae and John Paul II repeated in Evangelium Vitae, “this tradition is unchanged and unchangeable” (EV 62). Our stance in favor of life, and in defense of life, does not spring from us, or from some inclination we have toward a particular philosophy, ideology, or political platform. It is based, rather, in “the gifts and the call of God,” which “are irrevocable” and universal. He has chosen to create and redeem us, and reserve a place for us on his throne. His choice is what makes human life sacred, and is the basis for our choices.
Today’s readings, therefore, provide a foundation for a strong affirmation of the essential and integral pro-life stance of the Church, of its meaning and origin, and of the need for that pro-life witness to be given to the whole world and to every culture and subculture.