Celebrant: Jesus prayed for his disciples, and for unity. We now join him in that great prayer.
That the Church may continue to be the sign and source of the unity of the human family, we pray to the Lord...
That all Christian denominations may draw closer to one another in charity by drawing closer to the Lord Jesus Christ, we pray to the Lord...
That the Lord will hold in his hand, and shower with his care, all mothers, living and deceased, we pray to the Lord...
That we may prepare the world to welcome Christ's Second Coming by welcoming the poor, the sick, the burdensome, and the unborn, we pray to the Lord...
That those in our families and our parish who are burdened, ill, or alone, may experience comfort from our active concern and God's presence, we pray to the Lord...
That all who have died may be welcomed into the eternal joy of their Lord, we pray to the Lord...
as you answer our prayers,
grant that we may steadfastly proclaim
the first coming of Your Son,
and eagerly prepare for his second coming.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Supreme Court Sanity
In 2007, the US Supreme Court upheld the federal ban on “partial-birth abortion,” a procedure in which a child is deliberately killed in the birth process. In that decision, Gonzales v. Carhart, the majority opinion states, “Respect for human life finds an ultimate expression in the bond of love the mother has for her child…It is self-evident that a mother who comes to regret her choice to abort must struggle with grief more anguished and sorrow more profound when she learns, only after the event, what she once did not know: that she allowed a doctor to pierce the skull and vacuum the fast-developing brain of her unborn child, a child assuming the human form.”
Rv 22:12-14, 16-17, 20
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Today’s second reading brings us to the conclusion of the Bible, and the culmination of the Bible. The Bride of Christ, the Church, yearns for him to come again so that the marriage may be brought to the fullness of its joy and promise: total union, forever. Through Old Testament prophets, God promised a marriage between himself and his people. Isaiah 62:4-5 reads, “For the LORD will take delight in you, and your land will be married. 5 As a young man marries a maiden, so will your Builder marry you; as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so will your God rejoice over you.“ In his public ministry, Jesus referred to himself as the Bridegroom (see Mt. 9:15). And St. Paul, reflecting on Christ’s perfect sacrifice, says that the sacrament of Christian marriage symbolizes this marriage of Christ and the Church (see Eph. 5:25-32).
This union between God and his people, more intimate than we can dare to imagine, is the subject of Jesus’ prayer in the Gospel passage. The unity of Jesus with the Father is then shared with us, through his Spirit. What is equally clear is that this union with God unites human beings with one another. We are one with each other because we are one with him.
This teaches us a twofold lesson: a) the unity of the human family is not something we build and achieve through our own strength and ingenuity. It is the fruit of union with God. Therefore, the work we do for peace, justice, and respect for life must flow from our intimate union with God. b) Spirituality cannot grow or be considered authentic if it does not lead to committed action for peace, justice, and respect for human life. Union with God means that we are more aware of and responsive to the sufferings and needs of all our brothers and sisters in the human family. We can exclude nobody.