Week of January 18, 2015

Jan 16, 2015

      Today begins the Universal Church’s Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, a prospect that is nearer now than it has ever been since Pope Francis has been working so hard to build or repair bridges.  One of the titles we use to describe the Pope is Pontifex Maximus, the Great Bridge Builder, and Pope Francis has been working very hard at fixing bridges that were broken long ago and, at the same time, building entirely new ones.  This week we join all who pray for the unity of all Christians so that “all may be one”.

     God’s desire for our unity springs from God’s desire for holy relationships among Christians, between Christians and those of other faiths (or no faith) and between Christians and God.  As we celebrate Ecumenical Sunday, let us take a moment to give thanks for all the ways God calls us to be One in Christ.

     Tomorrow we honor the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  As with many great men and women, and in fact all of us, he was in some ways flawed, but those flaws do not mar the tremendous contribution he made to our nation and our world.  The events of the past 6 months have, once again, scarred our city and our nation.  We need to pray especially hard for an end to racial bias and a respect for all human life; I had honestly thought that this was all behind us but obviously I was mistaken.  Please note that the rectory offices will be closed on Monday, January 19th.

     Tuesday is the feast of Sts. Fabian and Sebastian (very dear to me) and Wednesday St. Agnes, Friday St. Vincent the Deacon, all martyrs.  Next Saturday is the feast of St. Francis de Sales (whom Bishop Mugavero, God rest him, was named after), the founder of the Visitation Sisters.

     Thursday we mark the 42nd year since the U.S. Supreme Court (not Congress) legalized abortion in 1973.  The Church asks us to pray on Thursday for the legal protection of unborn children.  Since 1973 there have been more than 57 million abortions (17 million in the black community—some would call this genocide)!  How many lives lost!  2015 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, legislation that prohibits discrimination based on disability. Yet babies diagnosed with disabilities, or “perceived disabilities,” in the womb are targeted and aborted at rates of nearly 60%-90%.

     Every Life is a Gift!  All parishioners are encouraged to join the March physically or spiritually.  Please commit to praying for an end to abortion every day.  

Prayer to End Abortion

Lord God, I thank you today for the gift of my life and for the lives of all my brothers and sisters.  I know there is nothing that destroys more life than abortion, yet I rejoice that you have conquered death by the Resurrection of Your Son.

I am ready to do my part in ending abortion.  Today I commit myself to never be silent, never to be passive, never to be forgetful of the unborn.

I commit myself to be active in the pro-life movement and never to stop defending life until all my brothers and sisters are protected and our nation once again becomes a nation with liberty and justice not just for some, but for all.  Through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

    Next Sunday is the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul, by the way, although it is not observed because it’s a Sunday!

     Our Lady Undoer of Knots, pray for us!

God bless,

MJH