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Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A

Homily Suggestions:

Is 49:14-15
1 Cor 4:1-5
Mt 6:24-34

The pro-life connections to today’s readings are brought out powerfully and poignantly by the declaration in the first reading that for a mother to forsake her own child is almost as unimaginable as God forsaking his own people. Almost – because God knows full well that mothers might and in fact do sometimes forsake their children. Yet he will never forsake us.

Because abortion is a forsaking of one’s own child, God is declaring in this passage that such an action reflects the most dramatic form of infidelity of which human beings are capable. The comparison of the mother-child bond to God’s own care for us also reflects the fact that God, in giving us all life, has also entrusted our lives to the care of one another. This is, in fact, an aspect of being made “in the image and likeness of God.” It is not just a matter of what each of us is in him/herself. It is a matter of our communion with each other, our self-giving service and love and unity, reflecting the inner life of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who give themselves completely to one another and cannot possibly be unfaithful to one another.

The Gospel then gives us one of the causes of human infidelity, including abortion. We worry about how we will be provided for. Is this not at the core of many temptations to abort? How will I provide for the child? How will I afford what this child deserves?

The Lord tells us to stop worrying about such things. This does not mean that we are not to be prudent and plan. It means, however, that when a child already exists – whether in the womb or outside the womb – we are called to trust in God’s care both for us and for that child. Worrying about tomorrow, anguishing about how to provide for someone, can never be a justification for killing that person. “Seek first his kingship over you.” In other words, he alone has dominion over human life. Nobody can choose that another will live or die. Nobody can predict the future, or weigh and balance the value of a person’s life. No person owns another, and no nation can negate the personhood of anyone, born or unborn. Seeking God’s kingship means we both acknowledge his dominion and trust his Providence. That fills us with hope, which gives us the courage to say Yes to life.

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