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Stewardship Reflection for this Sunday

“You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind.”                – Matthew 22:37 

Do you put other “gods” before God?  Is your love of money, power, status, comfort or some personal possession greater than your love for God?  Do you really recognize that everything you have and that everything you are is a gift from God?  The good news – it’s not too late to put God first in all things in your life.

Respect Life Month – Why Christians are Pro-Life?  Is it OK to Hate Someone?

7 Reasons Why Christians Are Pro-Life

Jackie and Bobby give seven reasons why Christians are pro-life, and they are all rooted in scripture.
1. Genesis 1:27 – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
2. Exodus 20:13 – “You shall not kill.”
3. Psalm 139 – “For thou didst form my inward parts, thou didst knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise thee, for thou art fearful and wonderful. Wonderful are thy works! Thou knowest me right well; my frame was not hidden from thee, when I was being made in secret, intricately wrought in the depths of the earth. Thy eyes beheld my unformed substance; in thy book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me…”
4. Jeremiah 1:4-5 – “Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.’”
5. Luke 1:41-42 – “And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry, ‘Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!’”
6. John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
7. 1 Corinthians 6 – “The body is not meant for immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body … Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

Abortion is an emotionally charged issue, but if you’ve had an abortion, or helped someone procure an abortion, know that there is no sin that God cannot forgive.

Please watch this short video from Ascension Press Media:

Respect Life – Catholic Teaching

Live the Gospel of Life
Respect Life Reflection

Twenty-five years ago, Pope St. John Paul II wrote that the Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ saving message to the world (Evangelium vitae 1). In taking on human flesh, dwelling among us, and sacrificing his very life for our redemption, Christ reveals the profound dignity of every human person. This God-given dignity does not change with our stage of life, abilities, level of independence, or any other varying circumstance.

Rather, it is rooted in the permanent fact that each of us is made in the image and likeness of God, created to share in the very life of God himself. The human person is a “manifestation of God in the world, a sign of his presence, a trace of his glory” (EV 34). And we must reflect this truth in how we act and how we treat one another. 

The truth of the Gospel of life is at the foundation of who we are as followers of Christ. In his earthly life, Jesus provided the perfect model for how we are to love our neighbor and live out the Gospel call: “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt. 25:40). 

Jesus calls each of us to “care for the other as a person for whom God has made us responsible” (EV 87). The Gospel of life is intrinsic to the whole Christian life and foundational to the decisions we make on a daily basis. For, “the Gospel of God’s love for man, the Gospel of the dignity of the person and the Gospel of life are a single and indivisible Gospel” (EV 2, emphasis added).

In his encyclical on the Gospel of life, Pope St. John Paul II recognizes the full range of threats against human life, from poverty and malnutrition to murder and war. He places particular emphasis, however, on threats to life at its beginning and end—precisely when it is most in need of protection. In modern times, children in their mothers’ wombs and those approaching the end of their lives are certainly among the “least of these” in our world’s estimation. Practices such as abortion and assisted suicide tragically reject the truth that human life is always to be cherished and defended with loving concern. 

As the Church celebrates the 25th anniversary of Pope St. John Paul II’s prophetic encyclical, let us reflect on how we personally live out the Gospel: Do I talk about and act towards others as I would talk about and treat Jesus himself? Do I inform myself of the Church’s teachings and engage in the civic arena as first a follower of Christ? Do I support and advocate for laws and policies that protect and defend human life? Do I help pregnant and parenting mothers in need? Am I ready to support a loved one nearing death?

Through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, may Our Lord grant us the grace to truly and courageously live his Gospel of life.

Excerpts from Evangelium vitae, © 1995, Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Scriptural excerpts from Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine; Psalm refrain © 1968, 1981, 1997, International Committee on English in the Liturgy, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2020, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Washington, D.C. All rights reserved.

Stewardship Reflection for this Sunday

“Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
  –   Matthew 22:21

Everything we are and everything we have belongs to God.  We aren’t “owners” of anything, we are merely “stewards” of the gifts God has given each of us.  All God is asking is that we give back a portion of what He gave us.   This is the essence of Stewardship.   God should be our first priority in everything.  All else comes second, especially our money.

Respect Life – Pope Benedict's Prayer for the Unborn

Pope Benedict’s Prayer For the Unborn

Lord Jesus,
 You who faithfully visit and fulfill with your Presence
 the Church and the history of men;
 You who in the miraculous Sacrament of your Body and Blood
 render us participants in divine Life
 and allow us a foretaste of the joy of eternal Life;
 We adore and bless you.

Prostrated before You, source and lover of Life,
 truly present and alive among us, we beg you.

Reawaken in us respect for every unborn life,
 make us capable of seeing in the fruit of the maternal womb
 the miraculous work of the Creator,
 open our hearts to generously welcoming every child
 that comes into life.

Bless all families,
 sanctify the union of spouses,
 render fruitful their love.

Accompany the choices of legislative assemblies
 with the light of your Spirit,
 so that peoples and nations may recognize and respect
 the sacred nature of life, of every human life.

Guide the work of scientists and doctors,
 so that all progress contributes to the integral well-being of the person,
 and no one endures suppression or injustice.

Give creative charity to administrators and economists,
 so they may realize and promote sufficient conditions
 so that young families can serenely embrace
 the birth of new children.

Console the married couples who suffer
 because they are unable to have children
 and in Your goodness provide for them.

Teach us all to care for orphaned or abandoned children,
 so they may experience the warmth of your Charity,
 the consolation of your divine Heart.

Together with Mary, Your Mother, the great believer,
 in whose womb you took on our human nature,
 we wait to receive from You, our Only True Good and Savior,
 the strength to love and serve life,
 in anticipation of living forever in You,
 in communion with the Blessed Trinity.