Published on Jun 23, 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 Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul Cycle A.
More liturgical resources are at http://www.ProLifePreaching.com.
A fuller explanation follows.
Vigil: Acts 3:1-10
Day: Acts 12:1-11
2 Tm 4:6-8, 17-18
We pray on this Feast that we will be faithful to the teaching and grace handed down from the apostles. At the heart of the faith that comes from Christ through them is the teaching on the sanctity of life. The fact that God cares for human life is the basis of all he does for us; the fact that he has entrusted us to the care of each other is the basis for all we do for each other.
Also strong in today's themes is that of battle. Peter and Paul had to fight off many enemies and rely on the Lord's power to rescue and sustain them, as today's readings make clear. And what was true for them is true of the Church throughout the ages, which will endure many storms. Yet "the gates of hell will not prevail." These words apply well to the battles to defend a culture of life against a culture of death.
Yet when we hear "the gates of hell will not prevail," we often forget that in a battle, gates do not run out onto the battlefield to attack the enemy. Rather, they have a defensive role, to protect the city from the enemy attacking it. When, therefore, Jesus says these gates will not hold out against the Church, it is the Church doing the attacking; the Church is storming the gates, taking initiatives to advance the Kingdom of God and reclaim territory lost to the kingdom of darkness!
Hence today's Feast can be a rallying cry for the faithful to build a culture of life, faithful to the teaching handed on from Peter and Paul, and confident that the gates of sin will melt in the presence of saving grace, the gates of falsehood will flee in the presence of truth, and the gates of death will fall in the presence of the People of Life.