Preaching Pro-Life on the 5th Sunday of Easter, Cycle C
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Published on Apr 23, 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 5th Sunday of Easter, Cycle C (April 28, 2013). He talks about the awesome promise from The Author of Life, when we read "There shall be no more death" in the Second Reading.
More liturgical resources are at http://www.ProLifePreaching.com.
A fuller explanation follows.
Jn 13:31-33a, 34-35
Tying this weekend's readings with the theme of life brings us right to the powerful promise in the second reading from Revelation 21, "There shall be no more death." The Easter season celebrates the basis of this promise: Christ has conquered the kingdom of death by his own death and resurrection, and has given us a share in this victory through our baptism.
Moreover, the victory embraces the entire universe, spiritual and physical: "I...saw a new heaven and a new earth." Any power that death exercises now, through evils like abortion or the threat of our own death, is a temporary and fleeting power that has lost both its foundation and finality. That's why the Church proclaims the Gospel of Life with utter confidence, and why we are to engage in pro-life activities with the same confidence. We do not just work "for" victory; we work "from" victory.
Christ's victory over death, which we now share, is a victory to which we give expression in the world by changing the shape of society and its policies and bringing this world into line with the demands of a culture of life. A new heaven and new earth have already begun in Christ and the Church. "Behold, I make all things new." These are words God speaks daily. He speaks them to us and through us.
This new order of reality, in which death no longer has the final word, is the context in which the Lord says that his commandment, "love one another," is "new." The law and the prophets had already instructed love; but only in Jesus Christ's victory over sin and death can love and life have the final word. Only in him can we love with a divine as well as human love. Only in him can we love the vulnerable and the unborn, and all people, with the very love that he has, and therefore persevere through the "many hardships" that are necessary "to enter the Kingdom of God" (First reading).
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