October 5th TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For all who have reached the autumn of their lives:
that these final years will be received as God's good gift,
and that even suffering and pain
might be received as a share in the cross of Christ Jesus, Our Lord:
October 12th TWENTY-EIGHTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For our legislators:
that a growing love for the unborn
might move them to protect and defend every American,
from conception to natural death;
We pray to the Lord:
October 19th TWENTY-NINTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
that they might learn from us
a respect for the life of every human being
and a love for the littlest and most vulnerable among us;
We pray to the Lord:
October 26th THIRTIETH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
For those who are about to die,
and for their families:
that they might cherish the beauty of the gift of life,
and trust in the goodness of the God who made them;
We pray to the Lord:
RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY
TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
October 5, 2003
Genesis 2:18-24/ Heb 2:9-11/ Mk 10:2-16 or 10:2-12
Preaching for Life
They Deserve Better
They deserve better. The young man and woman who have fallen in love. The world tells them to fulfill their own needs and care only for their own pleasure. They are encouraged to avoid commitment if it's inconvenient, to medicate their bodies against pregnancy and not to let a problem pregnancy get in the way.
They deserve better. They deserve to know that they are called to a noble vocation: to "a covenant in which a man and a woman set up a life-long bond with each other, a covenant which draws its force and strength and dignity from creation." They deserve the truth that they are called to be co-creators with the Author of Life!
They deserve better. The women who have just become pregnant and men who are expecting their first child. The culture of death tempts them to treat their unborn child as a dispensable commodity, a passing inconvenience. They deserve better. They deserve the truth that they are the guardians of the most precious of gifts.
"[They] deserve our love, our help, and our respect. Children waiting to be born deserve better than abortion, Lord: they deserve our protection and care. And this nation deserves better, Lord: it deserves laws which recognize the inalienable right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (Bishop Wilton Gregory, "A Prayer for Life")
The old and the sick, the weak and the forgotten deserve better. Darkness, sin and death deceive them into believing that they are without dignity, useless and weak. Forgotten by most of the world, they are tempted to the loneliness of despair, fear and desperation. They deserve better. They deserve the truth that God who created them in his own image and likeness has endowed them with infinite value and lasting dignity.
We deserve better. When the world tells us we are the result of an accidental coincidence of stars, we deserve to know that God has placed creation into our hands as his stewards, made in his image and likeness for love.
When the world sees sex as one more forum of power politics and oppression, we deserve to know that God created us male and female so that his love might be enfleshed in the love of a man and woman, who leaving father and mother, cling to each other and become one flesh.
By this sacred union, man and woman participate in God's act of creation. Giving life to a child, conceived and born in the love of God.
When the world sees the small and the weak, the forgotten and the fragile as disposable, we deserve the truth that each human person is a child of God, and in the least of all we can find and love Christ, our Savior.
When the Prince of Darkness would deceive us with his dark and deadly lies, we deserve better. We deserve the truth of the Gospel of Life.
Reflections for Life
Marriage is a covenant in which a man and a woman set up a life-long bond with each other. This covenant draws its force and strength from creation. For Christians, however, it has been given an even higher dignity as one of the sacraments of the new covenant...Marriage and the love of man and wife are by their nature instituted for having and bringing up children. Children are the ultimate crown of marriage, its most outstanding gift, and the greatest good bestowed on the parents. (Order for Celebrating Marriage, nos. 1, 3)
In marriage the couple are no longer two, but one flesh. This intimate communion of life and love was established by God the creator, who gave it the laws which govern it. It was the one blessing which was not lost through original sin. So this holy bond is not based on a human decision, but on the author of marriage by whose will it has been endowed with special blessings and purposes. Christ the Lord, however, makes a new creation and makes all things new. It was his will that marriage should be restored to its original form and holiness, so that what God has joined together no one may break apart. That this unbreakable bond of marriage might be a clearer sign and more readily attained, he gave marriage the dignity of a sacrament, reflecting his own nuptial bond with the Church. (Order for Celebrating Marriage, nos. 4, 5)
While the other ends of marriage are equally esteemed, the authentic fostering of married love and the economy of family life have as their purpose that married Christians should be steadfast and ready to cooperate with the love of their creator and savior. It is through them that he will continually extend and enhance his own family. Trusting in God's care for them and building up a spirit of sacrifice, husband and wife undertake the noble responsibility of having children and fulfill their human and Christian duty. In so doing they proclaim the greatness of their creator and strive to be perfect in Christ. (Order for Celebrating Marriage, no. 10)
October 2003: Bulletin Briefs
Despite what our culture tries to tell us, growing old is an important part of life. And those who have the opportunity to grow old are not cursed, but are blessed with abundance of life!
Every human being shares the same origin, nature and destiny, but our features and physiques, skills, interests, tastes and habits are astonishingly diverse.
We need to be radical witnesses for life including very guilty life so that we can turn the tide toward a culture of life.
From the moment of conception, the awesome complexity of a new human life unfolds.
Life is a Miracle!
Prepared by the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities