Life: Homily for Monday, January 23, 2017

Readings for Today

Today is the prayer for the legal protection of the unborn.  Life.  Surely there are not many more divisive issues than abortion.  Those on both sides can feel passionate about the issue.  Sometimes, this passion is misplaced in the ways we talk about each other.  We can use very hostile words that prevent any discussion.  But what struck me in watching the women’s march were some of the horrible signs people carried.  One said, “If Mary had had an abortion we would not have this problem.” Another said, “A Baby should not be the punishment for sex.”  I was stunned at the level of vitriol in these two signs.

What surprises me is how this is the tenor of a march for women.  What was clear is organisers saw no place for women who did not believe in abortion.  Sad.  Certainly, there are issues to be addressed.  Women do often face many issues in society that make things difficult.

But what if it were more known what the Catholic Church does on behalf of women who need assistance when their baby is born? After all, despite the often repeated false claim, people that are truly pro-life do care about the baby after he or she is born.  The Catholic Church is the largest provider of social services after the federal government.

Today, let us pray for those women faced with the difficult decisions that come with pregnancy.  And let us pray that by our efforts, they may see the support we provide for them in our actions.

Christianity Ain’t for Wimps: The Choice is not always easy

I recently saw a cartoon on the internet that placed a challenge right at the heart of my understanding of my faith. Usually I expect to see funny cartoons, plays on words, or jokes. But this one actually present a challenge to me. It was simply a quote: “If your god never disagrees with you, you might just be worshiping an idealized version of yourself.”

It got me to thinking: when was the last time I was challenged by God. To be sure, I can see and admit my sinfulness. But, have I really had a sense that God was calling me to something difficult, something that I did not want to do? Moses and Jesus set the choice before us: life or death, the cross or the comfort.

Nine Days for Life

On January 22 our nation will mark the 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made abortion legal throughout the U.S.

Leaders’ Kit: Social media kit, bulletin/ pulpit announcements, youth ministry guide, rosary intentions and more!

Since that tragic decision, more than 56 million children’s lives have been lost to abortion, and many suffer that loss — often in silence.

Join thousands of Catholics across the country coming together in prayer for a “culture of life” from Saturday, January 17 –  Sunday, January 25!

Visit the bishops website for more information.

Homily for Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Today’s Readings

Do we long to do the will of God, or not?  Today we are presented with two rather interesting persons who encounter God.  Mary, the Mother of God, and Ahaz, the King of Israel.  Both are presented with unbelievable experiences of faith.  But each responds in an unique way.  For Mary, it is her “may it be done to me according to your word”, the yes she gives to God, but for Ahaz, it is a rejection of God, albeit couched in language that might at first seem quite pious.  Why such different answers?

Perhaps it would be helpful to look at Ahaz, the King.  He reigned at a time when Israel was threatened.  He choose to side with Assyria over the promise of God made to David.  The reason God wants Ahaz to ask for a sign is so he might be convinced that God will be faithful in keeping his promise.  So before Ahaz is the ability to see God offer a sign that will remind him of the powerful promise God made with David, or to trust in something that appears to be more certain, the military power of Assyria.  Ahaz chooses Assyria, and he is doomed.  Ahaz will not ask God for a sign, because he does not want one.

Mary, on the other hand, is open to the uncertainty of the message of the angel Gabriel, because she trusts in God’s word.  She is frightened, but she says yes anyway.  She is willing to be the vehicle for Jesus to come into the world as a human being, not fully understanding or comprehending how this can even be.  She trusts God’s word through the angel, and the Incarnation becomes real.

Today’s readings remind me of the choice Moses set before the people, that of death or of life.  Ahaz, though he probably does not fully realize it has chosen death.  Mary has chosen life.  Today, God places before you the choice of life or death.  What will  you choose?