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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle C

Homily Suggestions:

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you?...If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?...Lend expecting nothing back…Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.” 

This Gospel passage calls us to a high standard of love, set by the example of God himself. It is particularly appropriate to draw out the application of this standard for the pro-life efforts of God’s people. In striving to restore protection to the most vulnerable members of our society – the unborn, and those whose illnesses have rendered them incapable of responding – we are in fact loving those who cannot love us back, and doing good to those who cannot do good in return. Loving the unborn and unresponsive necessarily requires a love that is free of the motive of looking for something in return. 

Nor is that love judgmental, as many abortion supporters accuse us of being. Today’s passage, “Stop judging and you will not be judged” provides preachers with an opportunity to clarify a much abused quote of Jesus. In an age of moral relativism, some try to use this quote to defend relativism, and want it to mean, “Don’t judge anyone for what they do, because you really don’t know if it’s right or wrong. You have your standards and they have theirs. Who are you to say what pleases God?”

Of course, we would not be able to say what pleases God, were it not for the fact that he has told us. Speaking both through reason and his revealed word, God has given us the ability to know right from wrong. In that sense, we can and must judge the difference. What we cannot judge is the inner state of a person’s soul, or the motives of the heart. But if we were not able to judge the difference between right and wrong, then neither could we say “Do not judge,” for that itself is a judgment that judging is wrong. 

When it comes to abortion, we can and must judge the action to be always wrong. Killing a baby is as wrong as killing a person who is walking down the street. We do not condemn the person who does either act, but rather we call them to conversion and forgiveness. Yet neither can we ever claim ignorance that the violence they have committed is never morally tolerable for the children of God. 

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