Celebrant: God has poured out on us a spirit of grace and petition, and therefore we present our needs before Him with confidence.
That all Christians may have the courage to acknowledge publicly that Jesus is Messiah and Lord, we pray to the Lord...
For all who are fathers, that on this Fathers' Day they may be affirmed and strengthened in their calling, we pray to the Lord...
That we may learn to deny ourselves and make room for those who may come into our lives by surprise, such as the poor, the immigrant, and the unborn child, we pray to the Lord…
That all people may find in the Church the source of forgiveness and peace with God, we pray to the Lord…
That all who are ill may be healed and strengthened according to God's will, we pray to the Lord...
That our deceased brothers and sisters may share in the vision of God, we pray to the Lord...
we are your sons and daughters
because of our faith.
Continue to provide for our needs
and answer our prayers.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Father Looks Back
Longtime country music singer Kenny Rogers has a song called “Water and Bridges,” which highlights a father's pain after losing a child to abortion. Rogers told CNN that the song is not about him, but is "really about choices you make when you're young that you pay for when you're old." He goes on to explain, "It starts off with a young couple who have an abortion, and the guy says, 'If a father could hold his son, I could undo what's been done, but I guess everyone is living with water and bridges.'" Counseling and healing is available for any man or woman who has lost a child to abortion. See www.RachelsVineyard.org for details.
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Zec 12:10-11; 13:1
“Whoever would save his life will lose it…” The paradox of Christianity is that life finds its most profound meaning precisely when it is given away in love for God and others.
This is at the core of the pro-life effort. We confront a culture in which many think they find their own life by taking someone else’s. The pregnant mother sometimes feels she has to choose between her own life (not necessarily in a physical sense, but in a psychological sense) and the life of her baby. But the Lord says that those who seek to “save their life” will lose it. Rather, we find our own life precisely by putting the other person’s life first. To deny ourselves and take up our cross brings us to the essence of life, which is to give and receive love.
The pro-life movement, in urging this dynamic, breaks down false barriers, just as Paul indicates in the second reading. “Neither slave nor free.” Jesus did the same, showing his love for the outcast and those against whom society had mistakenly set up barriers and false divisions. In the culture of life, there are no false divisions. All are equal. There is no “slave or free.” No person can enslave, own, or devalue another, or declare that other to be a ‘non-person’ or beyond the protection of law. We are here to set the slave free, to set the unborn free, to proclaim all human beings as equals.