From the Pastor
27th Sunday in Ordinary Time – A
October 8, 2017
October is Respect Life Month, a time set aside to give special thanks for God’s great gift of all life, and for our unique human life. The revised Roman Missal offers two sets of orations entitled ‘For Giving Thanks to God for the Gift of Human Life.’ I reflected on the first set back on Respect Life Sunday 2013; today we ponder the second set.
Collect – Giving Thanks to God for Gift of Human Life
O God, who adorn creation
with splendor and beauty and
fashion human lives in your image and likeness,
awaken in every heart
reverence for the work of your hands,
and renew among your people
a readiness to nurture and sustain
your precious gift of human life.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ … and ever. Amen.
HUMANS: THE HIGHPOINT OF CREATION. As the biblical creation accounts state, the human person is God’s pièce de ré·sis·tance or masterpiece. And Scripture says God “made us a little less than gods, crowned us with glory and honor … gave us rule over the works of His hands and put all things at our feet.” [C.f. Psalm 8:6-7] This point, referenced and built upon in the New Testament, is the basis for the Church’s Pro-Life
stance and her staunch defense of all human life from the moment of conception until death. However, many in our world – and even some of our great nation’s laws and policies – desecrate our God given human dignity.
Consider some incongruous contradictions: our laws forbid destroying – or even tampering with – the eggs of turtles or other endangered species [aka unborn turtles!] yet we legalize destroying unborn humans! People protest to ‘Save the Whales,’ march to outlaw animal fur, and demand ‘rights’ for animals, yet deny these rights to people! While most media positively present PETA rallies, pro-human-life promoters are often presented as insensitive violators of a woman’s ‘right’ to destroy what they say is ‘just cells!’ As this oration states: our hearts [and minds] need to be awakened … to God’s Truth!
Prayer over the Offerings – Giving Thanks for Life
O God, who bring forth bread from the earth
to sustain our lives
and wine to gladden the heart,
be pleased to accept these gifts and
make them the sacrament of our salvation.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
IS GOD SINGULAR OR PLURAL? Grammar experts might cringe at the seemingly incorrect tense in this oration: “O God, who bring …
.“ But while our God is a Trinity of Three Persons, God is still only One God; and is so united that the Trinity ‘thinks,’ ‘acts,’ and ‘interacts’ as one. I put those words in single ‘quotes’ because God does not ‘think,’ ‘act,’ or ‘interact’ as humans do; God simply ‘is’ and ‘does’ as God wills! However …
As God’s children, we are called to mirror, as best as possible, the Trinity’s unity in every way we think, act or interact. That means there’s no place for such ‘singular’ terms as ‘my‘ body, ‘my‘ rights, ‘my‘ decisions; we must always consider the body and the rights of others.
Prayer after Communion – Giving Thanks for Life
Confirm our resolve, O God,
by the life-giving Body and Blood of your Son,
that we may live always for others
and cherish your sacred gift of human life.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
GOD GAVE US AN EVEN GREATER DIGNITY! The basis of our unique human dignity is found in this quote: “… [God] blew into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” [Genesis 2:7b] Original Sin destroyed some of our dignity, but God restored and greatly
enhanced it in the Incarnation by which God became a human person in Christ. Then Jesus breathed the Holy Spirit into His Apostles, and through them into us at our Baptism and Confirmation. And in the Eucharist Jesus now enters into us as food. For each time we receive Holy Communion, Christ truly enters into us, to empower and strengthen us to be His presence in the world. And that, in turn, gives us a tremendous dignity: for we are the Body of Christ! Let us pray for a greater Respect for Life!
In His holy Name,
Rev. Thomas J. Serafin, KHS