OCTOBER 6, 2002

Preaching for Life


God plants a vineyard. He labors from sun-up to sun-down to make it fertile. We Are told he turns the soil, clears the land of stones and plants only the choicest vines (that's us!). But what happens when the crop comes in? Are there big luscious plump and juicy grapes, overflowing with sweetness and beauty? No. The grapes are small and bitter and hard. These vines did not bear the fruit for which they were planted.


Is that how God sometimes looks on us as a nation? He led our ancestors here from every continent and corner of the earth. Through their hands he cleared the land and planted what promised to be a bountiful harvest: a veritable cornucopia of justice and truth and equality. God planted in the United States of America a single nation which, even on its currency, recognizes that unity comes only from him and virtue only from following his ways.


But when harvest time comes, what will God reap in this American vineyard? Will it be the grapes of justice? Will this harvest include babies saved from abortion, the treasured old man, and the invaluable life of the woman who's deathly sick? Will this harvest include a Church who loves the poor, the broken, the forgotten and those whom everyone else would throw away? Will this harvest include an army of those who preach, proclaim and live the Gospel of life?


Or when the fullness of time comes, will God reap a sickly harvest in this vast nation? Will he find the bodies of those whom we have killed despite their innocence and executed because of their crimes. Will he find the sad lives of those whom we have forgotten or neglected and the lifeless bodies of those who died from the loneliness of a forgotten old age or the deadliness of sicknesses we didn't think worth treating? Will he reap a vineyard of apathy, selfishness and consumeristic narcissism?


What will God finds when he returns to this vineyard? Only we can tell.


Let us recommit ourselves today to tending the Lord's vineyard, beginning with our own little parcel. Let us read, and pray, and study and live the Gospel of Life that we may grow rich in grace and abundant in God's holy life.


Along with Saint Paul, let us have no fear. Rather, let us abide in the peace of God that surpasses all understanding and which will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 


Whatever is true, let us embrace it and live!

Whatever is honorable, let us embrace it and live!

Whatever is just, let us embrace it and live!

Whatever is pure, let us embrace it and live!


Let us embrace and live the Gospel of Life, that the harvest God finds in this blessed nation at the end of time may be rich, and faithful and true!


For the children who have died from abortion in our nation, and for their mothers and fathers, for mercy, peace and the loving embrace of Christ;  We pray to the Lord:


For the members of our Supreme Court, that God will grant them wisdom, and the desire to protect our inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness;  We pray to the Lord:


For those who have grown very old, and especially for those tempted to die, that God might grant them the patient endurance to do his will and serve his Gospel;  We pray to the Lord:


For all who are alone and afraid: for the man who sits on death row, the old woman in a nursing home, and the single mother abandoned by all: that God might teach us how to love them;  We pray to the Lord:


For all unborn children, and especially for the babies of unmarried mothers, that God might send an angel to protect them; We pray to the Lord:


For all legislators,that they might be wise, loving, and virtuous; We pray to the Lord:


For our Church, that through the proclamation of the Gospel of Life, we might live the cross of our Lord, Jesus Christ, and proclaim his good news to all the world;  We pray to the Lord:


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