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Preaching Pro-Life on the Second Sunday of Advent, Year A: Prince of Peace - End to Violence

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Uploaded on Nov 30, 2010

Fr. Frank Pavone (http://www.FrFranksBlog.com), National Director of Priests for Life (http://www.PriestsForLife.org), shares thoughts on preaching pro-life on the 2nd Sunday of Advent, Cycle A.

More liturgical resources are at http://www.ProLifePreaching.com.

A fuller explanation follows.

Is 11:1-10
Rom 15:4-9
Mt 3:1-12

Preaching on today's readings to bring out the theme of life would focus on two themes of the readings: justice and welcome.

The promised Messiah brings justice. The first reading and the psalm indicate that this involves "deciding aright for the land's afflicted." It means that the negative "judgment" imposed upon some, whereby they are deemed less worthy of protection or of other human goods, is reversed. Now, with right judgment, their dignity is recognized and they are treated accordingly. This justice is accompanied by peace. "There shall be no harm or ruin..." The obvious application to the culture of death in our day is that the coming of the Messiah, the preparing of the way of the Lord, the making straight of his paths, and the demands of repentance involve restoring the rights of all who are marginalized, most notably the unborn and the disabled.

Closely connected to this theme of justice is the theme of "welcome," stressed by St. Paul in the second reading. "Welcome one another as Christ welcomed you." Welcome means that we recognize the dignity of the other person and make room for that person whether that person was anticipated or not, planned or not, convenient or not. This stands in contrast to the concept of "wantedness." When someone is "wanted," they meet some need or expectation of somebody else, and the temptation is to think that their value rises and falls with their degree of "wantedness." Welcome, on the other hand, recognizes that their value is intrinsic to them. They are welcomed whether we want them or not. While some (like Planned Parenthood) say "Every child a wanted child," we say, "Every child (and every person) a welcome child."

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