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Preaching Pro-Life on the 5th Sunday of Lent Cycle A

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Published on Mar 31, 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 5th Sunday of Lent Cycle A.

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

A fuller explanation follows.

Ez 37:12-14
Rom 8:8-11
Jn 11:1-45 or 11:3-7, 17, 20-27, 33b-45

The theme of this weekend's readings is an overwhelming proclamation that God is master of life and death. Lent is meant to deepen our awareness and conviction of this truth, which is in turn the basis of the pro-life movement. We are not simply counteracting an evil in society through our human strength; rather, we are sent on a mission by the one who has authority over death, to free the human family from its oppressive regime.

Imagine going to a wake service and having someone say to you, "If you had been here sooner, my loved one would never have died." Yet that is what both Martha and Mary said to Jesus. They knew he had power over life and death. And yet they were subject to the all too human fears and calculations we make when we battle the culture of death. Martha says, "By now there will be a stench."

We say the same thing. We know what is right, and what has to be said and done to defend life. Yet we fear the stench. We fear who will object, who will get angry. Politicians fear who will vote against them; businesses fear who will stop supporting them. "Surely, there will be a stench." And that becomes the excuse not to act -- even when we know that Jesus has authority over death.

As we approach the climax of Lent and proclaim these powerful readings of God's victory over death, let's call our people to a confident and persistent activism for the cause of life, without fear or excuses.

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