Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year C

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General Intercessions

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As we present our many needs to God, let us ask first of all for the gift of Wisdom, and let us trust in his power to answer all our prayers.


That by word and example, Church leaders may inspire the faithful to bear their crosses each day with patience and fidelity to the Gospel, we pray to the Lord….

That all who have repented of the sin of abortion may be given the grace to forgive those who pressured them or failed to help them, we pray to the Lord…

That all in the Church may heed the words and example of Saint Teresa of Calcutta, who defended the human dignity of all, born and unborn, we pray to the Lord…

That those who are making important career choices may plan with wisdom, foresight, and trust in God’s providence, we pray to the Lord…

For all grandparents, that they may find joy in their grandchildren and pass along to them the wisdom of the Word of God, we pray to the Lord…

That those who are ill may experience God’s healing and the presence and care of their families and friends, we pray to the Lord…

That all who have died may be welcomed into the eternal life Christ has prepared for us, we pray to the Lord…


In your Providence, you know all our needs,
Yet you want us to worship you
As the one in whom those needs are met.
Hear our prayers,
And give us joy and peace in your presence.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bulletin Insert

St. Teresa of Calcutta died on September 5th, 1997. Three years earlier, she spoke at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC, and said the following words:

I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because it is a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself. And if we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another? How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, or her free time, to respect the life of her child. The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts.

By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble. So abortion just leads to more abortion. Any country that accepts abortion is not teaching its people to love, but to use any violence to get what they want. This is why the greatest destroyer of love and peace is abortion.

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Homily Suggestions

Wis 9:13-18b
Phlm 9-10, 12-17
Lk 14:25-33

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“Hating…even his own life.” This is a strongly-worded condition of discipleship laid out in today’s Gospel passage. It takes aim at the arrogance to which the original sin has left us so inclined. It is the idea that was presented to our first parents. “You will be like gods,” the serpent said to them in the Garden of Eden. This original temptation was a promise that what was right and what was wrong would be up to us; that we could write our own moral law. That’s what the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” meant, and why Adam and Eve couldn’t eat from it. We are all called to know good from evil, but not to decide it. To think we decide it is the error of the “pro-choice” mindset. “It’s all up to me and my choice, even if it means killing a baby.” This way of thinking, of course, leads to total chaos. On what basis do we tell people not to kill each other or steal from each other unless there are standards of right and wrong that apply to everyone no matter what they believe?

The temptation to abort is often couched in reasons and language that seem to invoke the Gospel’s advice to count the cost before building a tower or marching with an army. Yet prudence does not give license to kill in order to get ourselves out of undesirable consequences of past actions. Prudence, instead, calls us to evaluate those consequences before we act, and in this sense, the Gospel’s lesson is a call to chastity, and not to engage in sexual relations until we are ready to welcome a child in the context of marriage. 

Moreover, the Gospel is a call to calculate the cost of that renunciation of our own understanding, which the first reading also reflects. “Unsure are our plans.” When a child in the womb seems to throw life’s plans out of control, today’s message of total trust in the God who knows more than we do is a life-saving message indeed.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
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