The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!


Sunday, October 4, 2009

Deacon Joe's Homily for Respect Life Sunday

One of the deacons of our parish, Deacon Joe Mador, was unable to deliver the homily he prepared for today's Sunday Liturgy because it was decided instead to read the statement prepared by Cardinal Rigali for Respect Life Sunday. (Note: click here to read the cardinal's statement, posted earlier today on this blog.) But since I hate to see a good homily go to waste -- especially such a strong pro-life homily -- I asked Deacon Joe if I could post it on the blog. He agreed, so here it is...

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HOMILY FOR SUNDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2009

TODAY’S SCRIPTURAL READINGS FOCUS ON RELATIONSHIPS – BETWEEN MAN AND WOMAN AS HUSBAND AND WIFE, AND ON THE RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN PARENTS AND CHILDREN. THOSE RELATIONSHIPS ARE VITAL IF OUR WORLDWIDE COMMUNITIES ARE TO ENJOY TRUE PEACE AND PROSPERITY. BUT THOSE VERY RELATIONSHIPS ARE BEING THREATENED TODAY MORE THAN EVER. CHALLENGES TO THE VERY NATURE OF MARRIAGE ABOUND IN OUR COUNTRY. MY HOME STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS, AS WELL AS VERMONT, HAVE MADE SAME SEX MARRIAGES LEGAL. THERE ARE SURE TO BE MANY OTHER STATES THAT WILL FOLLOW SUIT. DESPITE THE MANY REFERENCES IN HOLY SCRIPTURE THAT SAY VERY CLEARLY THAT A MARRIAGE IS A BOND BETWEEN ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN, OUR LIBERAL LEANING AND INCREASINGLY SECULAR SOCIETIES ARE ATTEMPTING TO REDEFINE THAT MOST BASIC AND IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP. UNTIL FAIRLY RECENTLY, I NEVER DREAMED THAT ANYONE WOULD BE QUESTIONING HOW MARRIAGE SHOULD BE DEFINED. BUT TODAY, AT LEAST IN SOME CIRCLES, THE TREND SEEMS TO BE AWAY FROM TRADITIONAL VALUES, AND TO THIS CATHOLIC, THAT IS FRIGHTENING!

THE SANCTITY OF HUMAN LIFE IS ANOTHER TRADITIONAL VALUE THAT IS CONTINUOUSLY BEING ATTACKED IN AMERICAN SOCIETY. WITH NEARLY 50 MILLION LEGAL ABORTIONS SINCE 1973, IT SHOULD BE OBVIOUS THAT ABORTION IN THIS COUNTRY IS NO SMALL PROBLEM. THINK ABOUT IT – THAT’S ON AVERAGE ABOUT 1.4 MILLION ABORTIONS A YEAR SINCE THE ROE VS WADE DECISION OF THE U.S. SUPREME COURT IN 1973. THAT’S 3800 PER DAY OR ABOUT 3 ABORTIONS EVERY MINUTE, 24 HOURS A DAY, IN OUR COUNTRY. THAT MY FRIENDS IS A PROBLEM OF EARTH SHATTERING PROPORTIONS – WORSE THAN ANYTHING ATTRIBUTED TO HITLER OR STALIN OR TOJO.

WHAT DOES OUR CATHOLIC CHURCH SAY ABOUT SAME SEX MARRIAGES AND ABORTION? SHE HAS PROCLAIMED HER JUDGMENT LOUDLY AND CLEARLY THAT BOTH ARE UNACCEPTABLE FOR PRACTICING CATHOLICS. LET’S FOCUS FOR A MOMENT ON ABORTION. POPE JOHN PAUL II SAID THAT ABORTION IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MORAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME. POPE BENEDICT XVI HAS SPOKEN OFTEN AND CLEARLY ON THE EVIL OF ABORTION. BUT – DO ALL PRACTICING CATHOLICS STRONGLY AGREE WITH THEM? IF WE COULD ACCURATELY SURVEY THE PEOPLE IN THE PEWS IN OUR CHURCHES, WOULD THEY BE IN TOTAL AGREEMENT WITH OUR RECENT POPES CONCERNING ABORTION? WHAT IF WE COULD DO A SIMILARLY ACCURATE SURVEY OF OUR RELIGIOUS SISTERS AND BROTHERS, OUR DEACONS, OUR PRIESTS AND OUR BISHOPS? WOULD THEY ALL COME DOWN STRONGLY ON THE SIDE OF OUR HOLY FATHERS AGAINST ABORTION, OR WOULD SOME OF THEM HAVE OTHER OPINIONS?

I GUESS THE REAL QUESTION HERE IS WHETHER OR NOT THE TEACHINGS OF THE CHURCH ARE EFFECTIVELY BEING EXPLAINED TO THE PEOPLE OF GOD, ESPECIALLY AS THEY RELATE TO ABORTION. AS CLERGY, ARE WE DOING ENOUGH TO MAKE SURE THAT THE FOLKS IN THE PEWS REALIZE THAT ABORTION IS MURDER – MURDER OF A DEFENSELESS CHILD – MURDER OF A HUMAN BEING WHO HAS NO VOICE, NO VOTE, AND NO POLITICAL INFLUENCE? AND THIS IS PARTICULARLY IMPORTANT – DO SOME OF OUR AMERICAN CATHOLICS BELIEVE THAT ABORTION IS SOMEHOW MORALLY ACCEPTABLE BECAUSE THE SUPREME COURT HAS RULED THAT IT IS CONSTITUTIONAL? AS A CHURCH, ARE WE DOING ENOUGH TO EXPLAIN TO OUR PEOPLE THAT THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD ALWAYS TRUMP THE CONSTITUTION OF MAN? THOU SHALL NOT KILL!

AND WHAT ABOUT THOSE FOLKS IN THE PEWS? ARE THEY USING THEIR TREMENDOUS POLITICAL CLOUT TO REMIND PRO-CHOICE POLITICIANS THAT CATHOLICS STRONGLY OPPOSE ABORTION AND THAT THEIR PRO-LIFE OPPONENTS WILL RECEIVE OUR VOTES IN THE NEXT ELECTION? THAT WILL REQUIRE AN ABRUPT CHANGE IN OUR ATTITUDES AND VOTING PATTERNS IF WE ARE TO HAVE A REAL IMPACT IN OUR STATE CAPITALS AND IN WASHINGTON. AS VOTERS, ARE WE READY TO ACCEPT THE FACT THAT LIFE ISSUES LIKE ABORTION ARE FAR MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE THINGS THAT OUR REPRESENTATIVES AND SENATORS TYPICALLY SPEND MOST OF THEIR TIME ARGUING ABOUT, LIKE TAXES AND HEALTH CARE AND BUDGETS AND SPENDING. WITHOUT THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO LIFE, ALL OTHER ISSUES AND CONCERNS ARE IRRELEVANT.

LET’S GET EVEN CLOSER TO HOME - ARE PARENTS EXPLAINING TO THEIR CHILDREN AND TEEN AGED GRANDCHILDREN THAT ABORTION IS EVIL. YOU KNOW, ALL OF US CAN DO SOMETHING TO FIGHT THIS IMMORAL MONSTER. WE CAN WRITE, CALL AND SEND EMAILS TO OUR POLITICIANS. WE CAN VISIT THEIR OFFICES AND MAKE IT CLEAR WHERE WE STAND. AND EVEN IF SOMEBODY CAN’T DO ANY OF THOSE THINGS, THEY CAN PRAY EVERY DAY FOR AN END TO THIS SCOURGE ON OUR NATION. TO BRING IT DOWN TO THE HERE AND NOW, TOMORROW, FROM 2:30 TO 4:00 IN THE AFTERNOON, MANY OF OUR FELLOW PARISHIONERS WILL SHOW WHERE WE STAND ON ABORTION BY STANDING WITH SIGNS EXPRESSING OUR VIEWS ACROSS THE STREET FROM CITY HALL IN WILDWOOD ON ROUTE 301. PLEASE JOIN US AND STAND UP FOR WHAT’S RIGHT. PARISHES ALL OVER OUR DIOCESE WILL BE OUT IN FORCE TOMORROW, BUT WE WON’T HAVE ENOUGH OF A SHOWING UNLESS YOU ARE THERE.

A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF WELL INTENDED EFFORT HAS BEEN COMMITTED IN RECENT YEARS TO OVERTURNING ROE V. WADE TO RETURN ABORTION TO ITS FORMER ILLEGAL STATUS, AND MAY THOSE EFFORTS CONTINUE. BUT ARE WE SPENDING ENOUGH TIME AND ENERGY IN OUR EDUCATIONAL PROCESSES. AS A CHURCH, DO WE DO A GOOD ENOUGH JOB EXPLAINING THE NEGATIVE ASPECTS OF ABORTION TO OUR YOUNG MEN AND WOMEN IN THEIR TEENS AND EARLY TWENTIES? DO WE PLACE ENOUGH EMPHASIS ON THE ADVANTAGES OF PRE-MARITAL ABSTINENCE? DO WE PUBLICIZE ADEQUATELY THE AVAILABILITY OF ORGANIZATIONS LIKE “BIRTHRIGHT” AND “A WOMAN’S CONCERN” TO GIVE TANGIBLE HELP TO WOMEN WHO ARE EXPERIENCING AN UNWANTED PREGNANCY? ARE WE DOING ALL THAT WE CAN TO MAKE THE PROCESS OF PLACING NEWBORN BABIES FOR ADOPTION AS EASY AS POSSIBLE?

AS THE DOCUMENTS OF VATICAN II SO CLEARLY STATED, “WE ARE THE CHURCH” – THE HIERARCHY AND THE LAITY WORKING TOGETHER. AS A CHURCH, ARE WE REALLY PRESENTING ABORTION TO THE CITIZENS OF OUR COUNTRY AS THE MOST IMPORTANT MORAL ISSUE OF OUR TIME?
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Thank you, Deacon Joe!

Pray for life! God's peace...

1 comment:

  1. Just sending a note that there is a great new film about abortion and Black Genocide out now- called: maafa21. See clips here: www.maafa21.com

    ReplyDelete