Sunday, October 05, 2008

Respect Life Sunday - homily

How important is life to us? How is important is human life? These are great questions for us to ask anytime, but especially today when the Church celebrates Respect Life Sunday. October is Respect Life month. These are also significant questions for us to consider as we approach Election Day, November 4th. Is there anything or any issue that is more important than human life?

How important is human life to God? It is most important. Just as children are most important to their parents, we are most important to God. WE are “cherished plant”, as we hear in the first reading. WE are the “apple of his eye”, as we hear elsewhere in Scripture. The readings today give us the image of God as an owner of a vineyard; we are the vineyard. “The vineyard of the Lord of hosts”, the first reading says, “is the house of Israel and the people of Judah are his cherished plant”. Again, this refers to us, His people.

Human life is so important to God that He sends his son into the vineyard – the dangerous vineyard – to save us. Let’s be clear: He sends His son to save HUMAN life. When He does, He says, “they will respect my son”. But, they killed His son.

In a similar way, He says, “they will respect my unborn sons and daughters in the United States”. But, they kill thousands of unborn babies in the United States every day through abortion.

In a similar way, He says, “they will respect my people in different lands and of different races”. But, they have killed millions of Jews and Africans through genocide.

In a similar way, He says, “they will respect my oldest children who are of advanced age”. But, they have made it legal in several countries to kill the elderly through euthanasia.

It is a dangerous vineyard, indeed! It is one that disrespected the life of Christ and continues to disrespect human life.

God continues to send His son to save us. He continues to send His son to save us…. in the Eucharist. The best way for us to respect the son in the Eucharist is at Mass. We respect the son in the Eucharist when we come to Mass on time, dress properly, do our best to be attentive and prayerful, participate in the liturgy, and stay until the final blessing. It is extremely disrespectful to the Eucharist when we, without a good reason, leave Mass as soon as we have received Holy Communion. Remember, Judas left the first Mass early.

Let us all respect the son in the Eucharist at this Mass and at every Mass.

Finally, St. Paul gives us beautiful words to meditate on this week. He writes about “whatever is true…whatever is honorable …just …pure …lovely …gracious …excellent …worthy of praise.” We can meditate on them and realize that, among other things, he is describing the Eucharist. And, he is describing human life.


At 9:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nothing is so important as human life, as the human person. Above all, the person of the poor and the oppressed... Jesus says that whatever is done to them he takes as done to him. That bloodshed, those deaths are beyond all politics: They touch the very heart of God."

-Archbishop Oscar Romero

At 9:50 PM, Blogger CynthiaBC said...

I would prefer that a goodly bit of time elapse before I have to explain to my daughter what an abortion is. My second-grader is, however, a bright and inquisitive child (my husband and I long since have given up on spelling out words we didn’t want to say in front of her) and she has started to pounce on and ask for definitions of unfamiliar words. She also pays more attention to the news on TV and adult conversations than I did at her age…she’s interested in and wants to understand what’s going on around her. Oh, my hope for later rather than sooner surely is in vain.

Once she knows what an abortion is, my daughter will ask, why? Why do people do that? When she asks about crimes reported on the news, we’ve told her that that the people are sick or bad, and that what they did was against the law. I don’t want to tell her that women who have abortions are sick or bad (although some surely are just plain selfish) but I can’t see telling her that in the eyes of some people having an abortion is a lesser evil than bringing a child into a household that can’t support him, or who is less than perfect. I SO don’t want to go there with my seven-year-old.

At 11:11 AM, Blogger fran said...

Today's reading Galatians1:6-12

"I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by [the] grace [of Christ] for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach [to you] a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!"

Anyone, who rationalizes, twists, turns, or makes an excuse regarding respect for human life from conception to natural death is as Paul says, 'perverting the gospel of Christ.'

Last week there was to be a reading of a letter by all priests in the Archdiocese of Scranton, Pa. Part of the message was this:

'One cannot carry Christ's cross yet leave it outside the voting booth.' Something to think about, that's for sure. I know that the names "Respect Life Sunday" and "Respect Life Month" (October) are given to point up this extremely important matter, but life must/ should be respected EVERY day of EVERY month.

Finally, to Cynthiabc...
This article does not give specific things to say, but it may provide some insight and help you in beginning a conversation with your little one on the difficult topic of abortion. Go to:

At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’ve debated with friends about telling children about abortion. As parents, we walk a tight rope- we don’t want to expose our children to evil but want to foster the appreciation for a culture of life early.

Personally, I use the word “abortion” in my house with children of all ages. I have girls age 12, 8 and 5 who know the word. I haven’t defined all the aspects of what that means, but they know abortion kills children. That’s where my friends and I really split! Some think it’s too much info too young, but I read something another noted- we tell our young children that drugs kill, tell teens that drinking and driving kills. Why is it okay to convey the grim in some things but not others? A message as important as sanctity of life shouldn’t be sugar-coated, watered-down or avoided. To do that plays right into our nation’s culture of death.

When you do talk to your child, remember, education is not just concepts. We influence children not only in how they think about abortion, but in how they feel about it. We can train our kids to reject it along with the other injustices and evils in the world to which we expose them, rather than thinking about it as a matter of rights and choices.

I think it’s okay for children to feel badly that abortion exists. In my home, that’s been an opportunity to empower my kids- teach them how they can show many, many people that all life is valuable in their interactions with others everyday. There are many who remark on how kind my children are to their younger siblings. I draw a direct correlation between that and this understanding that they are responsible for protecting those who are smaller and weaker. (They still fight, but each own a sense of responsibility to care for those who can’t always do for themselves)

Remember- children are great advocates for equality. They know the class bully, so they understand that because you are stronger does not make you right. Their sense of justice and fairness is solid and they are not only open but eager to express their beliefs. They understand what it means to have need of protection from someone who is strong and capable. They understand that a baby’s life should be protected.

Cynthia, don’t fear the discussion. It can produce some really good things.

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Abortion exists because people think it will make their lives easier. Parents tell pregnant teens to have abortions because they don't want to pay for - and raise - another kid. Doctors give women who have been raped pills for either contraception or abortion because they think that she won't be able to take care of a baby in her traumatized state. It's the easy way out for a doctor instead of saying, 'hey, if you can't raise kid right now, here's the number for an adoption agency.' Or 'hey, here's the number of an OB who is pro-life and will help you through the pregnancy and birth and raising the kid.'

Is it really any easier to perform an abortion than just give the woman the information on a good OB, adoption agency, whatever she might need to help her through the pregnancy? No, I don't think so.

It's also important to have good priests who are pro-life but very sensitive to women who have had abortions. We have great ones at St. Andrew's. Father Greg and Msgr. Mellone are so kind, and awesome. I have come across ones who were not very supportive and helpful to women who were raped and had abortions outside of here.

Being pro-life also means being there for those who have lost a life.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger fran said...

"The first thing I'd do as president is sign the Freedom of Choice Act. That's the first thing that I'd do"
- Senator Barack Obama, speaking to the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, July 17, 2007

It is wise to not only know for whom you are voting, but for what you are voting. And, inform others before they cast their vote in a few weeks.

For an explanation of the "Freedom of Choice Act," go to

At 10:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thinking of our military and the innocent civilians lost in the violence of war saddens me as much as abortion. Although these lives are lost under different circumstances, it is still a child of God that is gone.

At 4:15 PM, Blogger fran said...

A brief definition of the "Freedom of Choice Act" (FOCA)-

A bill that would nullify any state or federal law that would "interfere with" access to abortion.


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