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A Merciful God

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

First Reading: Hebrews 9:15, 24-28

Christ is mediator of a new covenant:
since a death has taken place
for deliverance from transgressions under the first covenant,
those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance.

For Christ did not enter into a sanctuary made by hands,
a copy of the true one, but heaven itself,
that he might now appear before God on our behalf.
Not that he might offer himself repeatedly,
as the high priest enters each year into the sanctuary
with blood that is not his own;
if that were so, he would have had to suffer repeatedly
from the foundation of the world.
But now once for all he has appeared at the end of the ages
to take away sin by his sacrifice.
Just as it is appointed that human beings die once,
and after this the judgment, so also Christ,
offered once to take away the sins of many,
will appear a second time, not to take away sin
but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await him.

Responsorial Psalm: Psalm 98:1, 2-3AB, 3CD-4, 5-6

R. (1a) Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing to the LORD a new song,
for he has done wondrous deeds;
His right hand has won victory for him,
his holy arm.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
The LORD has made his salvation known:
in the sight of the nations he has revealed his justice.
He has remembered his kindness and his faithfulness
toward the house of Israel.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
All the ends of the earth have seen
the salvation by our God.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
break into song; sing praise.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.
Sing praise to the LORD with the harp,
with the harp and melodious song.
With trumpets and the sound of the horn
sing joyfully before the King, the LORD.
R. Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous deeds.

Gospel: Mark 3:22-30

The scribes who had come from Jerusalem said of Jesus,
“He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and
“By the prince of demons he drives out demons.”

Summoning them, he began to speak to them in parables,
“How can Satan drive out Satan?
If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.
And if a house is divided against itself,
that house will not be able to stand.
And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided,
he cannot stand;
that is the end of him.
But no one can enter a strong man’s house to plunder his property
unless he first ties up the strong man.
Then he can plunder his house.
Amen, I say to you, all sins and all blasphemies
that people utter will be forgiven them.
But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit
will never have forgiveness,
but is guilty of an everlasting sin.”
For they had said, “He has an unclean spirit.”

NAB

Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the United States Supreme Court’s decision to legalize abortion. Today is a Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children in every Diocese of the United States. Hopefully you will be able to participate in a local Pro-Life event and take time for prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. Remember to pray for the children who have died, their siblings, parents, and grandparents. Let us also pray that doctors, nurses, counselors, and politicians will protect the right to life.

In your prayer today, I also want to invite you to look with the Blessed Virgin Mary at your own heart. When we turn toward our Mother Mary with love, we see how she accepted the life of Christ into her body and joyfully radiated His life to all she encountered. Each of us becomes like Mary when we receive Our Lord in Holy Communion. We are to protect and cherish His life within us. Is your heart ready to receive Jesus? Do you let Him be King over all the rooms of in your heart? Can you notice the times when sinfulness stifles and sometimes aborts the Life of Christ within you?

The good news is that we have a merciful Father who joyfully wants to give us the gift of new life. On this day of prayer and penance, courageously run into the loving arms of our heavenly Father. Examen your heart under His merciful gaze. If you notice areas where you have squelched or killed the life of Christ within you, bring those sins to Him in the Sacrament of Confession. Even the graver sins, such as that of abortion, Christ wants to forgive. His mercy is there for all who seek it, no matter what we have done. Receive His forgiveness and let His life pulse through your veins once again.  He desires to live His life in you!

Let us place ourselves under the protection of Mary’s Immaculate Heart and beg her to intercede for us. She will show us how to build a Culture of Life in our own hearts, homes, parishes, and workplaces!  “He came that we might have life, and have it to the full!” (Jn 10:10.)

Rose Coleman is a contemplative in action who delights in all things beautiful. Her adventurous heart has traveled many places—from circumnavigating the globe on a ship during college to some years in the convent as a religious sister. Exuberant from her childhood, she is an elementary school teacher who learns so much from her students. You can find out more about her here.

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