Fr. Mark's
        
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RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY


Some years ago the theme of the United States Bishops program for
Respect Life Sunday was “Each of us is a Masterpiece of God’s
creation.  Each person was handcrafted by God and we should have a
sense of wonder, reverence and respect for each person that we
encounter.  Our society gives us “permission” to turn our back on an ill-
timed baby, a neglected spouse or a mother in a nursing home who
pleads for a visit. Since all people are made in God’s image and have an
immortal soul, all are to be cherished and protected. We are called to
see and love others as God sees and loves them.

Pope Francis has written that while all humans have value they are not
always respected since we live in a “throwaway society”.  In our society
people often see others as disposable when they don’t serve the selfish
interests of those with more power.

On March 25, 1995 the encyclical The Gospel of Life by John Paul II was
presented to the world.  At the beginning of his encyclical the Pope
commented on the story of Cain and Abel.  In that story Cain killed his
brother Abel out of jealousy.  When God asked Cain where was his
brother Abel, he answered, “I do not know.  Am I my brother’s keeper
(Genesis 4:9)?”  The Pope makes the point that unlike Cain, we are to
see ourselves as responsible for the life and wellbeing of all human
beings.  Thus we are called to love and protect all humans and to work
against all threats to human life in our world.

ABORTION

Abortion is the killing of an innocent child and direct abortion can never
be justified.  There have been almost 59 million, eight hundred thousand
abortions in the United States since Roe vs. Wade in 1973.  That
includes 683,245 abortions this year alone.

MALNUTRITION

In our world today 795 million do not have enough food to eat.  Every 10
seconds a child dies from Hunger Related Diseases.  This means that
while we celebrate this Mass at least 360 children will die from hunger
related diseases.

DEATH PENALTY

Since 1980 the Bishops of the United States have called for the abolition
of the Death Penalty in our country.  As Catholics we believe that if
society can be kept from a prisoner the State does not have a right to
execute that person and that we as individuals are to forgo vengeance.

SHARE THE JOURNEY

Pope Francis is concerned that 65 million migrants are displaced from
their homes.  They are often forced out as a result of wars and
persecution.  This is the largest number of refugees that has existed
since World War II.  The Pope is calling for the world to both pray for
and become aware of the plight of these innocent victims.  He is calling
this effort s “Share the Journey”.  Ultimately he calls that they be
treated with dignity and respect.  This issue should be personal to us
given the number of Catholic refugees.

RESPECT LIFE SUNDAY

In his encyclical, The Gospel of Life, John Paul II indicated that the
“Culture of Death” opposes “The Culture of Life.”  The Pope called on
all to actively work to establish a Culture of Life in the world through
living lives of love, volunteering, praying for life and being politically
active through contacting our members of Congress.

May we truly help to build a Culture of Life in our city and in our country.