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Preaching Pro-Life on the 1st Sunday of Lent Cycle A

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Published on Mar 4, 2014

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 1st Sunday of Lent Cycle A.

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

A fuller explanation follows.

Gn 2:7-9; 3:1-7
Rom 5:12-19 or 5:12, 17-19
Mt 4:1-11

Each of today's readings, in the powerful context of the beginning of Lent, reinforce the fact that God is Lord of our choices, and that freedom is found in obedience. This strikes at the heart of the culture of death, which puts choice above life and holds that a choice is validated not so much by what is chosen as by the fact that it is being chosen.

This original temptation, outlined in the first reading, was a promise that what was right and what was wrong would be up to us; that we could write our own moral law. That's what the "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" meant, and why Adam and Eve couldn't eat from it. We are all called to know good from evil, but not to decide it. To think we decide it is the error of the "pro-choice" mindset. "It's all up to me and my choice, even if it means killing a baby."

The obedience of Jesus Christ, exemplified in the Gospel passage and identified in the second reading as the source of our redemption, is the foundation for the culture of life and the pattern for each believer to live that culture. Obedience does not mean a slavish following of rules. It means a free embrace of what is true and good -- free because one is no longer swayed to do what is wrong despite one's best intentions.

In that sense, the Church, and the pro-life movement, are the true promoters and defenders of "freedom of choice," because they provide the grace and the tools to do what is right. The majority of the efforts of the pro-life movement are directed to providing alternatives to abortion, concrete help to enable people to choose what is right.

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