The sin of abortion touches everyone
The pain of sin perdures
Where do I turn? God's mercy waits for you!
He sent his Son and the tenants killed him. They wanted to kill him, as they had killed the servants before him. They were going to get something out of it—his inheritance! But killing solves nothing. Killing old and sick people solves nothing. Killing murderers solves nothing. Abortion solves nothing. The only thing you get out of killing is death and hurt and emptiness and pain ... deep and abiding pain. The only thing that is ever reaped by sowing the wind is the whirlwind. Death is the way of darkness. Forgiveness is the way of God.
I remember the first time I betrayed a friend. I was in fourth grade. She had told me her most precious secret and I had promised to keep the confidence. But I blabbed it all over the school. I will never forget the hurt in her overflowing nine-year-old eyes. Now I've grown very old but I still remember those eyes each time I lie to God, each time I sin. I love Him more than I loved my best fourth grade friend. And I don't want to sin, I don't want to lie, I want to keep my promise. But I sin anyway, and often. How much I need God! More than anything! More than anyone! More than life itself—I need God, and his mercy and his infinite love that can heal even the biggest lie.
A Reflection on the Second Reading:
Free floating fear, guilt, remembrances of the child whose life I helped to end...
Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.
I don't know what to do. I don't know where to turn. I know no peace.
... make your requests known to God.
Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
My mind does not rest. It accuses me of my sin through the night. Where do I look for peace?
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Then the God of peace will be with you.
The Lord does not wish the sinner to die
but to turn back to him and live.
Come before him with trust in his mercy.
A Stone Rejected
He could have had any stone he wanted. The big strong stone, the shiny white gem-like stone, the perfectly shaped stone—any stone he wanted. But this builder looked long and hard and he chose the stone they threw away. It was too dirty, it didn't fit, and it was ashamed to be with the other stones. But our God, so rich in tender mercies, looks all across the field, under every shrub and in every culvert, for the stone which the builders rejected. And he will wash it with his tears, cleanse it with his blood and take it to himself as the cornerstone of the Temple which is his body. You who are the stone rejected. He seeks you as his cornerstone. By the Lord has this been done. And it is wonderful in our eyes!
Psalm 24: 6-7
Remember, Lord, your compassion and mercy
which you showed long ago.
Do not recall the sins and failings of my youth.
In your mercy remember me, Lord, because of
The Father of Mercies is Ready
I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. (Pope John Paul II, The Gospel of Life, 99)
God of all creation,
I bless and thank you for your tender care.
Receive this life you created in love,
hear my prayer and forgive my sin.
Give hope to my heart
and peace to my life.
I ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Lord Jesus, Son of the living God,
have mercy on me, a sinner.
Rite of Penance 99:
Almighty and merciful God,
you have brought us together
in the name of your Son
to receive your mercy and grace in our time of need.
Open our eyes to see the evil we have done.
Touch our hearts and convert us to yourself.
Where sin has divided and scattered,
may your love make us one again;
where sin has brought weakness
may your power heal and strengthen;
where sin has brought death,
may your Spirit raise to new life.
Give us a new heart to love you,
so that our lives may reflect the image of your Son.
May the world see the glory of Christ
revealed in your Church,
and come to know
that he is the one whom you have sent,
Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen.