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Preaching Pro-Life on the 15th Sunday of Cycle A

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Published on Jun 26, 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 15th Sunday of Cycle A.

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

A fuller explanation follows.

Is 55:10-11
Rom 8:18-23
Mt 13:1-23 or 13:1-9

The whole world was created by the Word of God. Genesis shows God creating by speaking, and John's Gospel points out in the first chapter that this Word that God spoke in the beginning was in fact Christ. Paul expounds the same truth in the first chapter of Colossians, which in fact contains a commentary on the first verse of the Bible. Christ is that "beginning" of which Genesis speaks, and "all things were created by him and for him."

When, therefore, today's readings speak about the fruitfulness of the Word of God -- Isaiah declaring that the word accomplishes the end for which it is sent, and Jesus explaining how the seed will bear fruit -- they are not to be understood only in a spiritual sense. The fruitfulness of the Word is also physical, starting with human life itself. Mary said, "Be it done unto me according to your word," and by that word the physical conception of Christ took place.

Likewise, the conception and birth of each human being is a fulfillment of the promises in today's readings. When did God decide that you or the people around you should start to exist? The answer is, "From all eternity." There was never a time when God did not intend each living person to exist, nor when he did not have definitive plans for each person's life.

"My word will not return to me void." The plan, the eternal word, that God has for each person, is not to return void because of a veto on our part. Contraception, abortion, and euthanasia all constitute an offensive "No" to this Word, an attempt to veto an eternal decision of God regarding the fruitfulness of each life. Part of the reason for these "vetoes" is the "worldly anxiety" referred to in the Gospel. This anxiety leads to the temptation to cut off the fruitfulness of life.

Yet Paul, in the second reading, puts those anxieties in an eschatological perspective, inviting us to hold firm through life's difficulties and continue saying yes to God's plan. Interestingly, it is precisely the reality of childbirth that he uses to describe the full unfolding of God's plan for all creation.

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