Skip to comments.Placing Our Pro-Life Work in Mary's Hands
Posted on 02/27/2006 2:09:02 PM PST by klossg
The following homily was given by Arlington Bishop Paul S. Loverde on Feb.11 during the Respect Life Mass at the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Alexandria.
As we participate in this monthly Respect Life Mass, the Word of God, proclaimed in our hearing moments ago, contrasts two women: Eve and Mary. Eve said no to Gods command; she and Adam committed the first sin.
Yet, even as the first sin was being committed, God in His mercy promised victory over sin and eternal death. On the other hand, Mary said yes to Gods command and through her the Victor came to overcome sin and eternal death Jesus Christ Our Lord! Therefore, we see how the sins and mistakes of one woman can be forgiven and overcome by God.
By succumbing to the temptations of the evil one, Eve brought original sin upon all her children. But we know that God Himself removes the effect of that sin through our baptism, and even protected Mary from it through the Immaculate Conception, since she was the chosen Mother of Christ. Thus, through the power of God, the sins of the world can be washed away to reveal great promises of the future.
Let us now focus our attention on Mary. Todays Gospel depicts Mary traveling in haste to visit her elderly pregnant cousin Elizabeth. Not only did she bring Jesus, present in her womb, to Zechariah, Elizabeth and John in his mothers womb, Mary also stayed with the pregnant Elizabeth for three months, caring for her and assisting in so many ways. The Blessed Mother gave witness to Christian charity as she cared for Elizabeth during her pregnancy. Our pro-life witness must not only affirm in clear and unambiguous terms that life must be respected and protected from its first moment of conception onward, but our pro-life witness must also support pregnant women who are at risk and assist those women who have had abortions and now bitterly regret that tragic mistake.
This is why our diocese offers programs like Project Rachel and the Gabriel Project.
Project Rachel offers support to women who are suffering with the guilt of having had an abortion. This program reminds these women that Christ still loves them, and that He wants to welcome them back into the arms of the Church. It is the complete forgiveness that can only be granted by an all-knowing, all-loving Creator.
Project Gabriel reaches out to women who cannot afford medical care, who are in need of material and emotional support throughout their pregnancy. Thanks to the good people of Arlington, Gabriel Project helped a record number of people in December and the numbers continue to grow.
Just as Our Blessed Lady witnessed to Christian charity by assisting her pregnant cousin, so we, the Church of Arlington, likewise witness to charity by supporting these programs. Indeed, doing this is an authentic act of love.
Recently, Pope Benedict XVI stated that defending life from beginning to end is an authentic act of love for every person the culture of life is based, in fact, on attention to others, without exclusions or discriminations. All human life, as such, is worthy of and calls for being defended and promoted always This truth runs the risk of being contradicted often by the widespread hedonism in the so-called welfare societies: Life is exalted while it is enjoyable, but there is a tendency to stop respecting it when it is sick or experiences some kind of disability. from profound love for every person, it is possible to apply effective forms of service to life, both the nascent as well as that marked by marginalization or suffering, especially in its terminal phase (Defending Life an Act of Love, Says Benedict XVI, Zenit Feb. 5, 2006).
The tangible support we give through such programs like Project Rachel and the Gabriel Project must be rooted in prayer and penance if it is to be truly sustaining and enduring, truly an authentic act of love. Prayer and penance: this is the message Our Blessed Lady proclaimed in every one of her apparition in modern times. It is this message that she proclaimed at Lourdes. It is a message we need to hear again, especially today as we observe the Optional Memorial of Our Lady of Lourdes.
Let us then pray daily and do penance as well, as we place all our pro-life efforts under the protection of our Blessed Mother. We turn to her, since through her obedient faith in Gods Word and Will, she gave birth to the One Savior of the world, the One Who is the Divine Victor over the evil one and his attacks on life. Yes, dear Blessed Mother, your deed of hope will never be forgotten by those who tell of the might of God (cf Responsorial Psalm).
Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we too may perform deeds of hope as we pray, do penance, support programs like Project Rachel and Gabriel Project, and witness in public life to the sacredness of all human life from its first moment at conception to its last moment at natural death. Amen!
Loverde Watch. When you read his pious words, remember his actions. For example: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/1478458/posts