Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

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General Intercessions

[English PDF]

Celebrant: God always welcomes us and hears our prayers. Let us pray for the needs of our Church and our world.


That the Pope, bishops, and all church leaders will continually seek God’s wisdom and guidance, we pray to the Lord...

That world leaders will model the mercy of God in their treatment of their people, we pray to the Lord...

For all who work, that they may see their labor as a way of becoming like God, the Creator of all things, we pray to the Lord....

That we who are called to instruct and admonish one another may never fail to dissuade those who are tempted to abort their children, we pray to the Lord...

That the memory of terrorist attacks will renew in us the resolve to work for peace in our world, our communities, our families, and our hearts, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have died and those who grieve them may find comfort in Christ, we pray to the Lord...


Merciful and compassionate God,
you give us all we need to come to everlasting happiness.
Hear our prayers,
that we might be a sign of your blessings to all we meet.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bulletin Insert

Come to the Church

“On what reasonable grounds and with what imaginable right can anyone suggest that any human life since that time of Abram, is less precious or valuable than that of Isaac? Or has less potential in the plan of our Creator? What a savage, unconscionable, heinous act it would have been to have put this special gift of God, Isaac, to death in his mother’s womb. And to how many potential Isaacs has that happened and is still happening……The right to life is the greatest civil rights issue of our time. This is the issue that will determine whether America remains a hospitable society, committed to caring for women in crisis and their unborn children, -- or whether America betrays our heritage and the truths on which the founders staked their claims to independence….No one has to have an abortion. To all those in crisis pregnancies, I pledge our support and our financial help. Come to the Catholic Church. Let us walk with you through your time of trouble. Let us help you affirm life. Abortion need not be an answer ...”
---Archbishop Edwin O’Brien Maryland March for Life St. Mary’s, Annapolis, March 13, 2008

Homily Suggestions

Ez 33:7-9
Rom 13:8-10
Mt 18:15-20

Watch a video with homily hints

The readings today provide important insight into the pro-life witness of the Church and of each member of the Church.

Combining the themes of the readings, we can say that the Church consists of “loving watchmen.” Because we love God, we love others, and therefore try to persuade others to love the same God and to keep themselves from the destructive harm of sin. When we try to fulfill the exhortation of Ezekiel and of Jesus to engage in the spiritual work of mercy of “admonishing the sinner,” we are told – particularly when the sin we are trying to prevent is abortion – that we should “mind our own business.”

(Of course, this criticism is not heard when the sins we are trying to prevent are politically correct to prevent, such as harm to the environment.)

Yet it actually is our business to engage in fraternal correction, because God has entrusted us to each other. “The God of the Covenant has entrusted the life of every individual to his or her fellow human beings” (Evangelium Vitae, 76). There is a natural bond of responsibility, because we are all one human family, and there is a mystical communion in grace and a harm that is done to the entire Body of Christ by the sins of each individual. Hence, fraternal correction, and being a “watchman,” make sense.

The task is especially urgent when we are speaking up for defenseless human beings who cannot speak for themselves.

The love that Paul describes in the second reading is what infuses the pro-life movement and motivates its participants. Defending the unborn is simply an application of “love your neighbor.” Pro-life advocacy, therefore, does not have to be seen as ideologically or politically motivated. It is simply love in action, and love that inspires not only the work of the pregnancy centers and the post abortion healing ministries, but also the legislative efforts, the political efforts, the protests, and every other form of pro-life activity.

The gospel passage today ends with the words, “where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Why did the Lord say “two or three?” He is there when just one person is present, isn’t he? Certainly, he is. But it is when the “other” or “others” show up that we are then able to give ourselves away in love, and that bond of active love between human beings manifests Jesus’ presence in the particular way that he highlights in this passage.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
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