"If the corpse of a slain man is found lying in the open on the land which the Lord, your God, is giving you to occupy, and it is not known who killed him, your elders and judges shall go out and measure the distances to the cities that are in the neighborhood of the corpse. When it is established which city is nearest the corpse, the elders of that city shall take a heifer …[and] they shall cut the heifer's throat there in the wadi. The priests, the descendants of Levi, shall also be present…Then all the elders of that city nearest the corpse shall wash their hands over the heifer whose throat was cut in the wadi, and shall declare, 'Our hands did not shed this blood, and our eyes did not see the deed. Absolve, O Lord, your people Israel, whom you have ransomed, and let not the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain in the midst of your people Israel.' Thus they shall be absolved from the guilt of bloodshed, and you shall purge from your midst the guilt of innocent blood, that you may prosper for doing what is right in the sight of the Lord.” (Dt. 21:1-9).
Lord, You have created us all
And have entrusted us to the care of one another.
Your Word teaches us
That You require an accounting
For the shedding of innocent blood,
And that when blood is shed on the land
Those who live on the land
Must answer for it.
Father, there is innocent blood on our land,
The blood of our unborn brothers and sisters.
You teach us that even if someone else sheds this blood,
It is our business, our responsibility, to respond.
In our day, Lord, we cannot even say
That we do not know who shed the blood.
The abortion clinics are publicly advertised and funded,
And those who support the killing
Make their views known in public,
Even from positions of government leadership.
Lord, we therefore pray, as Your own nation did of old,
Absolve, O Lord, Your people, whom You have ransomed,
And let not the guilt of shedding innocent blood remain
In the midst of Your people.
Father, no longer can we say
That someone’s abortion is “none of our business.”
You have made us one human family,
And in Your Son Jesus,
Have made us one Body,
With each part dependent on the other parts.
We are called to weep with those who weep,
To rejoice with those who rejoice,
And to bear one another’s burdens.
Keep us, Lord, attentive to the unborn,
Strong in the spirit of repentance,
And eager in the duty of protecting
The weakest and most vulnerable.
Give us, finally, the joy
Of the total victory of Life over Death
In the glory of Your Kingdom.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director, Priests for Life