Pro Life Liturgy for July 18, 2021 - Ordinary Times 16

Frank Pavone
Priest For Life
July 18, 2021
Reproduced with Permission
Priest For Life

General Intercessions

Celebrant: Confident in God's love and endless compassion for all people, we place our needs before him in faith.


Celebrant: Gracious God, hear our prayers. Give us the grace to do your will each day, and to find the true peace which comes only from you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

Bulletin Insert

A Consistent Ethic of Life

"A wide spectrum of issues touches on the protection of human life and the promotion of human dignity. As Pope John Paul II has reminded us: "Where life is involved, the service of charity must be profoundly consistent. It cannot tolerate bias and discrimination, for human life is sacred and inviolable at every stage and in every situation; it is an indivisible good" (The Gospel of Life, no. 87).

"Among important issues involving the dignity of human life with which the Church is concerned, abortion necessarily plays a central role. Abortion, the direct killing of an innocent human being, is always gravely immoral (The Gospel of Life, no. 57); its victims are the most vulnerable and defenseless members of the human family. It is imperative that those who are called to serve the least among us give urgent attention and priority to this issue of justice" (2001: US Bishops' Pastoral Plan for Pro-life Activities: A Campaign in Support of Life).

Homily Suggestions

The first reading and the Gospel passage echo the theme of God as our Shepherd. It is in the Second Reading that we see exactly how Christ shepherds us - through the reconciliation achieved in his blood. He shepherds us not simply by teaching us, but by destroying the very power of death.

The Church's pro-life efforts are to be seen and presented in this context, that is, as an aspect of the reconciliation of the world with God in Christ. The "enmity" of which St. Paul speaks has many dimensions, and in its widest spiritual sense includes the enmity that all sin places between us and God, and between us and one another.

The exaltation of individual "choice" above our responsibilities to the lives of others, especially our children, creates a destructive enmity. The peace that Christ gives is not something to be received only in an internal, spiritual way, but is a reality that transforms relationships, cultures, and nations. That peace demands respect for life and a rejection of the enmity that constitutes the culture of death.