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Today's Pro-Life Reflection
(From Fr. Frank Pavone's Pro-Life Reflections for Every Day) 
August 15
"The Mighty One has done great things for me" (Luke 1:49).
Reflection: Because of her unique role as his mother, Mary received from Jesus a full share, body and soul, in his victory over death. In the human family, which God decided to join, there can be no closer bond than mother and child. They belong together; their destinies are intertwined. That is one of the central messages of the pro-life movement. To love and care for a mother necessarily means protecting, loving, and caring for her child.
Prayer: Blessed Virgin Mother, on this day of joy we honor you. Pray for us, and for the victory of life! Amen!
    

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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle B

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General Intercessions: [English PDF]
 

Celebrant: Jesus brought healing, comfort, and new life to those who believed. Let us join our prayers of intercession for our needs and the needs of the world.

Deacon/Lector: 

That the Church and her leaders will continue to be a sign of faith to all people in a world faced with sadness and strife, we pray to the Lord...

That as our nation observes Independence Day later this week, we may give thanks for our freedom and use it in the service of life and of God, we pray to the Lord... 

That citizens may recommit themselves to exercising their right and duty to vote in every election, we pray to the Lord...

That God, who did not make death and who is the source of all life, may bring an end to the abortion and all other forms of violence of in our world, we pray to the Lord...

That our community of faith may be a living example of the mystery of God's presence among us, by our love for each other, we pray to the Lord...

That those who have died may find rest in the tender embrace of God, let us pray to the Lord...

Celebrant:  Loving Father, you are always near to us. Hear these prayers which we make with confidence in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Bulletin Insert:
 

The Bishops Speak

In their statement “Catholics in Political Life” (June 2004), the United States bishops said the following:

“We need to continue to teach clearly and help other Catholic leaders to teach clearly on our unequivocal commitment to the legal protection of human life from the moment of conception until natural death. Our teaching on human life and dignity should be reflected in our parishes and our educational, health care and human service ministries.

“We need to do more to persuade all people that human life is precious and human dignity must be defended. This requires more effective dialogue and engagement with all public officials, especially Catholic public officials. We welcome conversation initiated by political leaders themselves.”

Homily Suggestions:
 

Wis 1:13-15; 2:23-24
2 Cor 8:7, 9, 13-15
Mk 5:21-43 or 5:21-24, 35b-43

Watch a video with homily hints

“God did not make death …for he fashioned all things that they might have being.” This line from the first reading is not only an assertion that tells us something about God; it is a mandate for his people to stand against the power of death and to defend and promote life. Likewise, the raising of the dead girl to life, recounted in the Gospel passage, is not simply a story about what Jesus did; it is a summons to his people to do it again and again as they build a Culture of Life in the world. 

One could ask, in the face of miracles like the raising of the dead, why Jesus did not do it more frequently. The answer is that his miracle was a sign of the meaning of his mission and ours. His occasional raising of the dead reveals the meaning of everything he is doing at every moment. He is reconciling humanity to God, and hence destroying the very source of death. In the end, all will rise – but they are called first to come to Christ, who is Life itself, and embrace that gift of natural and supernatural life. 

We can say, therefore, that the pro-life movement is not simply a response to Roe vs. Wade. Rather, the pro-life movement is a response to Jesus Christ. God is in the business of destroying death, and has done so through Christ. To stand with Christ is to stand with life, and therefore to stand against whatever destroys it. Nothing in our world destroys more life than abortion. 

Some wonder why we would preach about abortion at Mass, or be concerned about what, in the eyes of some, is none of our business. Yet it is our business, because we serve a God who destroys death. We are the People of God and the People of Life. It is the business of love to save human lives. In the Mass, we literally touch the victory of life over death. What can be a more appropriate time and place to talk about it?


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