Celebrant: We have all received the mercies of the Lord. As we ask for His continued care, we do so with hearts filled with thanksgiving and praise.
That all who have experienced God's gift of salvation may render Him constant thanks and may spread the Faith, we pray to the Lord...
That we may always thank God for the gift of our life and the lives of our children, and work to defend the lives of those in danger, we pray to the Lord…
That those who help us teach our children may themselves be filled with wisdom, grace, and complete devotion to God's truth, we pray to the Lord...
For those who rely on our prayers through bonds of family or friendship, that God may fulfill their every need and protect them from evil, we pray to the Lord...
That the sick may be healed, the lonely comforted, and the dead welcomed to eternal life, we pray to the Lord...
we thank you for hearing us.
As you grant our prayers,
Enable us to be faithful all our days
To our Lord Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
One God forever and ever. Amen.
“The terrible miscalculation of young women is that abortion can make them ‘un-pregnant,’ that it will restore them to who they were before their crisis. But a woman is never the same once she is pregnant, whether the child is kept, adopted, or killed. Abortion may be a kind of resolution, but it is not the one the woman most deeply longs for, nor will it even preserve her sense of self" (Paul Swope, “Abortion: A Failure to Communicate").
2 Kgs 5:14-17
2 Tm 2:8-13
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Life was difficult for lepers in the time of Jesus, not simply because of their disease, but because they were ostracized. Leviticus 13:45-46 tells us that lepers were to wear torn clothes, let their hair be disheveled, and live outside the camp. They were to cry "Unclean, unclean!" when a person without leprosy approached them. As outcasts, the lepers had no right to even speak to Jesus. Moreover, in the ancient Mediterranean world, touching a leper was a radical act. By touching a reviled outcast, Jesus defies the predominant culture that allowed these human beings to be ostracized and put on a lower level of dignity.
In Mark 1:40 we read of another encounter of a leper with Jesus. Most English translations of the New Testament say that Jesus was "moved with pity" when he encountered the leper. However, the Revised English Bible says that Jesus was "moved to anger." If Jesus was moved by anger, his anger would not have been at the leper but rather at a system that excluded certain people.
In His ministry, Christ consistently sought out those whom society oppresses and rejects. He broke down the false barriers that people set up among themselves, and instead acknowledged the equal human dignity of every individual, despite what common opinion might say. Hence we see Him reach out to children despite the efforts of the apostles to keep them away (Matthew 19:13-15); to tax collectors and sinners despite the objections of the Scribes (Mark 2:16); to the blind despite the warnings of the crowd (Matthew 20:29-34); to a foreign woman despite the utter surprise of the disciples and of the woman herself (John 4:9, 27); to Gentiles despite the anger of the Jews (Matthew 21:41-46); and, in today’s Gospel, to the lepers, despite their isolation from the rest of society (Luke 17:11-19).
When it comes to human dignity, Christ erases distinctions. St. Paul declares, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave or free person, there is not male and female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28).
We can likewise say, "There is neither born nor unborn." Using this distinction as a basis for the value of life or the protection one deserves is meaningless and offensive to all that Scripture teaches. The unborn are the segment of our society which is most neglected and discriminated against. Christ Himself surely has a special love for them.