Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization

"Catholic Prayers for the New Evangelization"

Check out the revised edition of this exciting and unique prayer book, filled with prayers that are sure to nourish the soul as we undertake the New Evangelization.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Homily 5 October 2008 27th Sunday of the Year/Respect Life Sunday

When in the course of human events, it became necessary for the 13 colonies which formed the U.S.A. to separate themselves from the imperial power of Great Britain, the God-fearing gentlemen who met in Congress to form and lead the infant nation declared in writing their independence, the reasons for their declaration, and the grievances which precipitated it.

They declare also what they believed about the dignity of the human person: the self–evident truth that meant women are created by God and endowed with the inalienable right to life.

In the history of our nation, that truth has become much less self-evident for Americans – indeed for all people – and particularly in the last 35 years the respect due to human life has suffered numerous attacks.

In our nation, that which the founding fathers thought to be self-evident has been stripped of all legal and cultural support.

Today the Church observes Respect Life Sunday, as she calls to mind for all people of good will the inalienable right to Life and the Divine imperative to respect dignity of human person.

In his famous farewell address to the nation, George Washington remarked that religion and morality are “indispensable supports” to political prosperity.

With this observance of Right to Life Sunday, the Church is reminding all people of the absolute necessity to pray and labor in defense of the unquestionable sanctity of human life, for without a basic moral framework that recognizes dignity of the human person and of human life, prosperity is truly impossible.

Respect for life was at the foundation of our country’s formation; it remains at the core of the Church’s Social Justice teaching; and it must remain the fundamental law in our hearts.

Respect for life is not the limited purview of certain committees, lobby groups, or even camps within the church. God forbid I ever hear the disparaging phrase “those pro-lifers” again.

God is pro-life. His church is pro-life. To love life is not simply a Catholic position. It is fundamentally human. To fail to love life is to abandon the essence of Christianity and humanity.

Isaiah likens chosen people of Israel to a vineyard, cherished by the Lord – a labor of love, cultivated by the Lord and planted with choicest vines.

In the history of salvation the Lord established a covenant with His people, instructed them and cared for them, that they might know Him and serve Him in holiness. God mercifully tried again and again to draw His people to Himself. These things happened as preparation and image of a new and perfect covenant in Jesus Christ.
In the fullness of time, God sent His son into the vineyard to become man and to give His life on the Cross, that we might have eternal life.

Christ established Church as the sacrament and instrument of unity for all people. The Messiah rejected and crucified has become foundation of the Church.

Christ is Vineyard of God in its’ fullness. The Lord looks upon the Church with love and delights in the worship offered to Him and the service rendered to others in His name.

The Church possesses a great dignity. The members of the Mystical Body of Christ are called to embrace their identity as the Lord’s treasured vineyard and their vocation to bear fruit that will last.

In particular, we must bear fruit in defense of life. When God looks upon His Church we do not want Him to behold a pathetic harvest, influenced by the culture of . We must pray, labor and learn every day, that we may increase in holiness, bear fruit in the Lord’s vineyard, and preach with our words, and more importantly with our lives, the Gospel of Life.

The issues surrounding respect for life are numerous. We often hear the stories of men and women in our midst: child neglect, spousal abuse, poverty, genetic engineering, , and discrimination, ography and contraception.

A person of faith cannot help but cry out: What are we doing to ourselves?

Like the servants sent into vineyard, Christ sends people into the world and we destroy their lives.
As if all that was not enough evil, then there are the even more heinous crimes against life.

Euthanasia treats the elderly and sick as disposable commodities to be thrown away when no longer useful like a pen that runs out of ink. Contrary to this, the Church says your dignity is not based on what you produce but who you are as people created and loved by God.

Embryonic Stem Cell Research presumes to create human embryos or to use existing ones gained from other illicit procedures, and then to kill these viable human persons and use them for research. This practice is all the more ridiculous given that no scientific benefit has come from it and great advances have been made from morally acceptable research on cells from umbilical cord and skin. Human life is not a laboratory experiment.

Finally, even though most Americans oppose abortion, or perhaps in limited cases
support it, misguided politicians and the media continue to try to convince us that it is good for us.

A bill in process in Washington called the Freedom of Choice Act obliterated gains in legal protection of life of the last 35 years. It defines not life but abortion as a ‘fundamental right,” eliminates parental notification, eliminates parental notification, and eliminates laws protecting women for unsafe medical clinics.
I can’t begin to describe the pain man and women in our world suffer because of abortion. The loss of 45 million lives and the devastating results in countless broken lives because of abortion demand that we oppose this kind of legislation.
Call your Senator or Representative, and ask them to defend life on your behalf.
“Freedom of Choice” is more than an interesting title. Pope Benedict XVI…speech on the South Lawn of the White House during his visit to the U. S. in April…“Preservation of Freedom calls for cultivation of virtue.”
We cannot enjoy real freedom without virtue, without love for life.

We who have come to know the love of Christ are compelled by our faith to be a voice for the old, sick, poor, and unborn. We are called, empowered and compelled by the grace of Christ to pray, speak out, write letters…all in defense of human life…that we may bear fruit that will truly last.

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