Preaching Pro-Life on the 13th Sunday, Cycle C





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Published on Jun 25, 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 13th Sunday of the year, Cycle C (June 30th, 2013).

More liturgical resources are at http://www.ProLifePreaching.com.
A fuller explanation follows.

1 Kgs 19:16b, 19-21
Gal 5:1, 13-18
Lk 9:51-62

The second reading's teaching on freedom creates the opportunity to preach today on the relationship between freedom and the right to life.

Unwilling to describe the details of dismemberment that the abortion procedure entails, supporters of its legality have taken refuge in much more positive words like "freedom" and "choice." Ironically, of course, abortions do not happen because of "freedom of choice," but rather because some pregnant women think they have no freedom and no choice but to have an abortion. Hence the pro-life movement works daily to provide alternatives to abortion.

But to invoke "freedom" to justify abortion twists the very notion of freedom, in a way that today's second reading warns against. The corrective truth that Paul gives is that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. The unborn children are our neighbors, and loving them starts with protecting them from violence.

The command to "love our neighbor as ourselves" doesn't simply mean to love them "to the same extent" as we love ourselves, but more fundamentally to love them "as a person like ourselves." In other words, it means that we recognize in them a person with the same worth, value, dignity, and rights as we ourselves have. This is precisely where the "pro-choice" mentality has gone wrong, when it fails to see the unborn child as our neighbor. The justifications for abortion would not hold if invoked as a reason to kill a born child. "Love your neighbor as a person like yourself."

Our Declaration of Independence invokes the "right to life" as an "unalienable right" granted to all "by their Creator," not their government. What God gives, government cannot take away. This is the foundation of our freedom -- that God himself grants our human rights, and that "to secure these rights, governments are instituted." This is the basis of the freedom we enjoy in America. Preserving that freedom requires preserving the fundamental rights that are its foundation, starting with life itself.


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