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Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children, Monday, January 22, 2024




Gospel

Mary set out

and traveled to the hill country in haste

to a town of Judah,

where she entered the house of Zechariah

and greeted Elizabeth.

When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting,

the infant leaped in her womb,

and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit,

cried out in a loud voice and said,

"Blessed are you among women,

and blessed is the fruit of your womb.

And how does this happen to me,

that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears,

the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

Blessed are you who believed

that what was spoken to you by the Lord

would be fulfilled."

And Mary said:

"My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord;

my spirit rejoices in God my Savior

for he has looked with favor upon his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed:

the Almighty has done great things for me,

and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him

in every generation.

He has shown the strength of his arm,

and has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,

and has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,

and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel

for he has remembered his promise of mercy,

the promise he made to our fathers,

to Abraham and his children for ever."

Mary remained with her about three months

and then returned to her home.


Reflection


When reading this Gospel these words stuck out to me, “When Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the infant leaped in her womb, and Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, cried out in a loud voice and said, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb…For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy. Blessed are you who believed that what was spoken to you by the Lord would be fulfilled”.

This will always remind me of the Hail Mary prayer but reading it again this quote from the intercessory prayer we say in Mass, “from conception till natural death” comes to mind. With it being the day of prayer for the legal protection of unborn children this really resonated with me. The fact that the infant in Elizabeth’s womb leapt for joy knowing Mary and Jesus were there is so beautiful and showcases such life in the unborn. I think it prompts significant contemplation on the gravity of abortion and calls for at least a day of reflection on this solemn atrocity. My mother had brought up a great point that, there are so many good people out there who are giving every day their suffering and prayers to help end abortion.


I found this article from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops “Respect for Unborn Human Life: The Church's Constant Teaching”, that highlights some interesting facts that you may want to read to learn more about the origins of the Catholic position on abortion. The main takeaway is the final paragraph of the article that sums up the churches stance on abortion….

“Given the scientific fact that a human life begins at conception, the only moral norm needed to understand the Church's opposition to abortion is the principle that each and every human life has inherent dignity, and thus must be treated with the respect due to a human person. This is the foundation for the Church's social doctrine, including its teachings on war, the use of capital punishment, euthanasia, health care, poverty and immigration. Conversely, to claim that some live human beings do not deserve respect or should not be treated as "persons" (based on changeable factors such as age, condition, location, or lack of mental or physical abilities) is to deny the very idea of inherent human rights. Such a claim undermines respect for the lives of many vulnerable people before and after birth.”

PAPA Foundation
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