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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle B

Homily Suggestions:

Is 43:18-19, 21-22, 24b-25/2
2 Cor 1:18-22
Mk 2:1-12

The emphasis of the first reading and Gospel for this weekend on the forgiveness of sins suggests, of course, that as we speak about God’s mercy, we mention that this mercy extends to all who have been involved in abortion. To the extent that the homilist may wish to develop this theme, the words of Pope John Paul II, reproduced below, are worth reading, as they apply across the Body of Christ. Likewise, a practical resource like the interdenominational Silent No More Awareness Campaign (www.silentnomoreawareness.org) can be mentioned. Church members can find referrals to various ministries of post-abortion healing at that website. The gatherings, furthermore, in which women give their testimonies about how they regret their abortions, are occasions in which the mercy of God shines forth powerfully to the local community. It would be a powerful addition to this weekend’s message if a woman who has had an abortion and shares her testimony could give a 3-5 minute talk in Church.

If the homilist wants to comment upon the second reading, the theme of Jesus Christ as the “Yes” is a powerful pro-life theme. “Yes” is what he says to human life, and in his “Yes” we find the strength to say “Yes.” Abortion and euthanasia, on the other hand, are the “No’s” to God’s plan. They are, by definition, negations of the promises God holds out to all whom he creates.

Excerpt from Evangelium Vitae 99:

“I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace … To the same Father and to his mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.”

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