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Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

As today’s gospel begins, Jesus enters the synagogue on the Sabbath. “There was a man there who had a withered hand. They watched Jesus closely
to see if he would cure him on the sabbath.

They did not like Jesus so they were looking for a way to trap him. They knew He had already done miracles. He had already engaged in ministry on the Sabbath. So, they watched to see if He would break the third Commandment, “Keep the Sabbath holy,” by doing the “work” of healing the man on the Sabbath. They failed to understand who Jesus is as Son of God. They failed to understand Jesus healed people through the power of God. Thus, God could have easily prevented Jesus from the healing on the Sabbath if He wanted to. All God would need to do to stop Jesus was take away the power.

God wanted the man healed. As to doing it on Sabbath, I would not only is it “not wrong” to heal on the Sabbath, but, rather it might be the perfect day to use the Lord’s power to help his people.

Today is a a “Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children” in the United States. We should pray every day for the protection of life in the womb. What makes today special?

Today is January 22nd, the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, Roe v. Wade, that legalized abortion. On Friday there will be the March for Life in Washington, DC. There will be other marches like the Walk for Life West Coast.

It might seem like an insurmountable task to change laws about abortion. The same may seem true in trying to change people’s attitude to understand that life begins at conception and is to be cherished.

It might seem like we are battling a giant that cannot be defeated. Here, I turn to our first reading today, the story of David and Goliath. Goliath was a Philistine who was seen as a giant. The Israelites were afraid to go into battle against the giant.

One man was willing. It was David, chosen (but not yet serving) by God to be the king. He was still just a young lad. He wasn’t even strong enough to wear the armor King Saul offered him. When Goliath “had sized David up,
and seen that he was youthful, and ruddy, and handsome in appearance,
the Philistine held David in contempt
.”

David did not have automatic weapons or weapons of mass destruction like we do today. He had no gun, not even a sword, but he was not deterred. He went into battle against the giant Goliath with just a stone and a sling and he was victorious.

How? Because God was with him. We might think the battle to stand up for life in the womb is liking fighting Goliath. What do we need to win?

The question is not so much “what do we need” but “who do we need.”

The answer is clear. We need God.

The pro-life marches are important was a witness to the numbers of people who stand for life. People who pray near Planned Parenthood facilities are important witnesses to life. If you feel called to do this, God will be with you.

Most people won’t. That doesn’t mean we can’t witness for life. It can be just as important in regular conversation to be willing to speak up for life. I’m not advocating any violence. Violence would not be pro-life. I’m not talking about forcing our pro-life beliefs on anyone. I’m simply talking about “saying what we believe.”

And, of course, there is prayer. Always pray for the dignity of all life, life that begins in the womb and continues until natural death. (You can participate in a nine day novena for life at http//www.usccb.org/about/pro-life-activities/january-roe-events/nine-days-of-prayer-penance-and-pilgrimage.cfm .)

It might seem like we are battling a giant. That’s okay. David battled against the giant Goliath and won because “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.”

Peace,

Fr. Jeff

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