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From the Pulpit: Homily – Third Ordinary Sunday, “Pro-Life”

Fr. Marek Sobczak, pastor of St. Stanislaus Kostka Church, Brooklyn, shares the homily for Third Ordinary Sunday (January 24).  We are working on publishing current homilies from various churches in our Province regularly. We believe you will like this idea.  Please, give us your feedback and suggestions (use comment form below) on how much would you like us to deliver homilies and reflections regularly on our webpage in English and/or  Polish.  Here is the homily from St. Stan’s pulpit:

Third Ordinary Sunday,  January 24

In recent days, we all saw pictures of human tragedies in Haiti. Dead bodies on the streets, crying babies covered with dust, bleeding children without parents, doctors who used a primitive saw to cut people’s arms or legs off in order to save lives….  Then we heard stories of joy and happiness coming from the rescue workers in Haiti, who were able to save yet another life of a person rescued from the rubble.  We saw politicians who went to Haiti to show off their readiness to help. On our television screens, news commentators shared with us the joyful stories of saved lives with excitement.  Musicians and actors, who organized a special music concert to generate money for the Haitian people last Friday night, tried to convince us that our money will go to save more lives in Haiti.  Saving Lives – big words!

And now, let us look at the value of human life from another perspective. The same politicians, the same news anchors, the same musicians   — do not oppose the killings of unborn babies. They rejoice over one saved child in Haiti, but they agree with the killing of millions  of children in their mother’s womb each year. What’s more, they promote the so-called “freedom of choice”  which can be translated – “if you wish, you may kill your unborn child, and we will help you to do this by setting up the appropriate laws.”

What a hypocrisy!

The same people who cheer at saved life in Haiti, criticize the Catholic Church for fighting for the rights of all people – even the unborn.  Because of the support of the powerful mass media, they have a huge influence even on some, self-proclaimed, pro-choice Catholics.

On January 22, 1973,  the US Supreme Court  left the unborn  with little or no protection. For the first time  in the history of our Republic,  the lives of an entire class of human beings,  the unborn,  have been deprived of legal protection.

As we know, the former President of Iraq, Saddam Hussein, was hunted, caught and sentenced to death because he had killed his own people who belonged to an unwelcomed group.  His behavior was condemned by our civilization.  The American Army went to Iraq to fight for human rights.  On the other hand, in our civilized society, the same deprivation of the right to live for a group of people, such as is the killing of unborn babies, is called the freedom of choice.  Isn’t that ironic?  Hypocrisy and spineless morality!

The court decision, which legalized abortion in our country,  shows us  that we still haven’t made any progress  in learning how to live  according to God’s standards of life. On the very sad anniversary of this decision, hundreds of thousands of people marched on the streets of Washington toward the Supreme Court last Friday to manifest and to demand equal rights for people of all stages of life.  Thousands of people prayed for a Federal law which would respect and protect each and every group of human beings.  Those hundreds of thousands of people had represented all of us who should have -  but could not -  go to Washington. But we all must demand, from the law makers and even the mass media people, the respect for life from the moment of conception to the natural death.

In today’s first reading, we heard that the law of God was read to the people for a straight two days…. So many rules and commandments God set for the people to teach them how to be God’s people and how to live as children of God.  We are much more fortunate today than the people of the Old Testament.  Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior, summarized all of God’s laws and gave us just two commandments – Love God with all you heart, and mind …. And the second one  - love you neighbor as yourself.  Love one another as I have loved you, he says.  Yet, we still have problems with loving one another.

More than two thousand years ago  Seneca, the Roman philosopher said,  “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.”  How much we need to be reminded and these words need to be repeated, over and over again… I believe, that this is what the world must do today  – more or less start all over –  and learn how to live.  People must learn what values to embrace and how to respect another human being.

St. Paul tells us in his letter today:  “You are the Body of Christ.  Everyone of you is a member of it.”  We are one in Christ and with Him.  Then, we all, in ONE voice,  should proclaim, always and everywhere,  to the rest of the world,  the truth about the sacredness of a human life,  the truth given to us by God,  the Giver of Life.  Do it for the sake of God’s love, for the sake of us all, for the sake of a human’s dignity. Amen.

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