Published on Oct 14, 2013
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 29th Sunday of the year, Cycle C (October 20th, 2013).
More liturgical resources are at http://www.ProLifePreaching.com.
A fuller explanation follows.
2 Tm 3:14 - 4:2
Today's readings are not only focused on the efficacy of prayer, but more specifically on the efficacy of prayer amidst battle and conflict. In the first reading, it is a battle for the very survival of God's people against fierce enemies; in the Gospel, it is a legal battle for justice.
The connection with the pro-life movement is clear on both the theme of prayer and conflict. In "The Gospel of Life," John Paul II wrote, "It is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favored tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of "conspiracy against life" is unleashed. This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States" (n. 12).
The efforts of those who build a Culture of Life must be sustained by prayer but not limited to prayer. Moses' hands sustained in prayer were essential to victory, but the Israelites also had to fight. Likewise, we must pray for an end to abortion, but we must also speak, organize, lobby, vote, protest, and intervene.
In both the first reading and the Gospel, the themes of "justice," "deliverance," and "securing rights" make for particular application to the unborn and vulnerable.
Finally, this homily can provide an opportunity to invite people to join in the daily prayer campaign to end abortion, as found at www.PrayerCampaign.org.