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Today's Pro-Life Reflection
(From Fr. Frank Pavone's Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day) 
November 23
"Your hands are full of blood; wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right!" (Isaiah 1:15-17).
Reflection: Some abortion advocates agree that abortion should be "reduced." The pro-life movement does reduce abortions, but also works to end it, and this is what the other side considers "divisive." They want to present themselves as favoring life, but they don't want to ultimately protect every life. It's like saying we should reduce child abuse in our nation, but that trying to prohibit it altogether is too divisive.
Prayer: Lord, continue to divide good from evil as you work through us. Amen.
    

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First Sunday of Advent - Cycle B

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General Intercessions: [English PDF]
 

Celebrant: In the spirit of the prophet Isaiah, we gather our thoughts and prayers with hope and humbly call on God to help us in our needs.

Deacon/Lector:

That Church leaders may be blessed with wisdom and holiness to guide the Church in this season of Advent, we pray to the Lord… 

That peace will flourish among nations afflicted by war and strife, and for the leaders of those nations, we pray to the Lord…

That Christians may follow the Gospel mandate to "Be on guard" against all forms of disrespect for the sanctity of human life, we pray to the Lord...

That all people will seek justice and have compassion for the poor and hungry of our world, we pray to the Lord…

That our hearts will be filled with joy as we prepare for the birth of Jesus, let us pray to the Lord…

That those who have died may be granted the peace of God’s kingdom, we pray to the Lord…

Celebrant:

Almighty Father,
as we look forward to the coming of your Son,
fill us with your mercy and answer our prayers.
We ask this though Christ our Lord.  Amen

 

Bulletin Insert:
 

Active Waiting…

The Second Vatican Council reflects upon the relationship between the coming of Christ and our activity to prepare for it. In the Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, we read, "Far from diminishing our concern to develop this earth, the expectancy of a new earth should spur us on, for it is here that the body of a new human family grows, foreshadowing in some way the age which is to come....When we have spread on earth the fruits of our nature and our enterprise -- human dignity, brotherly communion and freedom -- according to the command of the Lord and in his Spirit, we will find them once again, cleansed this time from the stain of sin, illuminated and transfigured, when Christ presents to his Father an eternal and universal kingdom...." (#39). In other words, the spirit of Advent should naturally bolster our pro-life efforts, and the progress we make in promoting human dignity becomes the "building blocks" for the eternal kingdom.

Homily Suggestions:
 

Is 63:16b-17, 19b; 64:2-7
1 Cor 1:3-9
Mk 13:33-37

Watch a video with homily hints

The beginning of the Advent season focuses our attention on the future coming of Christ in glory, and echoes a theme of repentance as a preparation for that coming. Christ’s coming ushers in the final triumph of life over death. The preparation for that coming, therefore, includes repentance from the works of death, including abortion. Not only individuals but nations likewise need to repent. 

When we battle against the Culture of Death in its various forms, we may often pray as in today’s First Reading, “Lord, rend the heavens and come down!” Why, for example, does the Lord just not appear from the sky to stop the abortions from happening? The fact is that he did come down in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, and through the Lord’s clear teachings continues to put the truth in our minds, and the grace in our hearts, so that we can be the ones who bear witness to life amid the Culture of Death, work tirelessly to transform that culture, and intervene to save the helpless. 


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