Friday, February 1, 2008

Celebrate Life

Fr. Dodie Arupo, the head of the Diocesan Ministry on Family life sent me this guide as aid for homilies this coming Lenten Season 2008. This was written by Fr. Joe Schweg


Celebrate life

February Pro-Life Month

Dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe

This guide is only intended to be an aid for preparing themes, homilies, and prayers of the faithful for the month of February. It is not prepared homilies and not a replacement for your own reflections.

February 3, 4th Sunday of the year - Building the Culture of Life

Zep 2:3; 3:12-13 1 Cor 1:26-31 Mt 5:1-12

A. A remnant or shall take refuge in the Name of the Lord they shall do no wrong

B. whoever boast should boast in the Lord

C. the Beatitudes

a. all from God

Reflections

1. God gave us a choice: to follow the road to death or the road to life

a. The majority had chosen the road to death, building a culture of death

i. Concerned with power, pleasure, riches, selfishness, security.

b. A few had chosen to follow the road to life, building a culture of life

i. The few who are humble and lowly concerned with doing what is right according to the Will of God

2. Consider your calling. Not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth

a. You were called to help build the Culture of Life

b. It is not your greatness that builds but rather your humble submission to God

c. We can boast in the Lord, who gives us wisdom, righteousness, and redemption

3. By conforming our lives to the life of Jesus as taught in the beatitudes we will become the building blocks of the Culture of Life

a. God will give to us the fullness of life

February 6, Ash Wednesday To Ask Forgiveness for the Many Transgressions against Life

Joel 2:12-18 2 Cor 5:20-6:2 Mt 6:1-6.16-18

A. Return to me with your whole heart

B. we are ambassadors of Christ, try not to receive grace of God in vain

C. be on guard against performing religious acts for people to see

Reflections

1. In our daily interaction with the culture of death around us, there is a tendency to compromise our values, our humility, our submission to Jesus

a. Easily we can wake up to find our hearts slaves of pride, selfishness, self will, pleasure, comfort of riches

b. Instead of rejoicing in the life and love of those around us, we begin to see the lives of others a threat to our own security and happiness.

c. this is a great injustice to God and His Love for us

b. just as Moses spent 40 days and nights praying and fasting in order to obtain

God’s forgiveness for his people who adored the golden calf made by Aron, let us spend this 40 days of lent asking God’s forgiveness for our society which has placed man above God.

2. as ambassadors of God let us at all times preach the true dignity of man through our

words and deeds by our humble service to the Word of God

3. by disciplining ourselves let us purify the motives of our actions in order that they

may flow from the depths of God’s love within us

Feb 10, 1st Sunday of Lent - The Culture of Death: Temptations of the Devil

Gn 2:7-9;3:1-7* Rom 5:12-19 Mt 4:1-11

A. God gave the Gift of Life and with it the fullness of life on earth

B. Through Jesus our Saviour…… one righteous act brought acquittal and life.

C. When the devil finished all the tempting he left him to await another opportunity

Reflections

1. God gave us the Gift of Life and all that is necessary for a happy life

a. God’s plan for man is the Culture of Life and all that goes with it

i. Peace, Love, Joy, Security, Freedom, etc

2. The devil tempted Adam and through his sin the Culture of Death took root and with it the fruits of the culture of death

a. Death, slavery, insecurity, division, hatred, greed, loss respect for life, loss of respect for God

3. Jesus avoided the temptation to sin and by his death established once again the plan of God for man, the fullness of life, the Culture of Life

4. Daily we face temptations

a. there will always be a need for the disciplines of lent to give us strength to avoid the temptations of the Culture of Death

i. prayer, fasting, almsgiving

Feb 17, 2nd Sunday of Lent – Call to be Living Witnesses of the Culture of Life

Gn 12:1-4 2 Tim 1:8-10 Mt 17:1-9

A. Go forth from the land of your kinsfolk….to the land that I will show you. …. All the

communities of the earth shall find blessing in you.

B. Bear your share of hardship for the gospel with the strength that comes from God

….He saved us and called us to a Holy Life.

C. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and do not be afraid.”

Reflections

1. God has called us to go against the tide of greed, selfishness, hedonism, godlessness

a. He has called us to leave the safe haven of friends and relatives

b. He has called us to sacrifice our security to build the Kingdom of God

2. It is difficult to give be witnesses of the culture of life in the culture of death

a. To live a life of discipline in a culture of hedonism

b. To live a moral life in the culture of graft and corruption

c. To speak the truth in a culture of deception

d. To be responsible for our actions in a culture of relativism

e. To work for the common good in a culture of selfishness

3. Daily in the sacraments and in prayer, we need to experience the touch of Jesus telling us to “rise, and do not be afraid”

a. Through the sacraments and through prayer we will have the strength to carry our cross and be true witnesses of the Culture of Life.

Feb 24, 3rd Sunday of Lent – Signs of Hope for the Weary Travelers

Ex 17:3-7 Rom 5:1-8* Jn 4:5-42

A. “Why did you ever make us leave Egypt? Was it just to have us die here of thirst

with our children?”

B. we boast in the hope of the glory of God…. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint……

C. “everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again; but whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

Reflections

1. It is difficult to lead others out of the Culture of Death.

a. The culture of death claims happiness, fulfillment, security, and salvation at the hands of human ability

b. By our lives; words and actions, we must bring them to the Rock of Salvation, Jesus Christ

2. In our personal sacrifices for the Kingdom we must show others the hope of the glory of God.

a. Hope gives the strength and courage necessary to reach our destination

b. Our willingness to suffer affliction, our endurance of affliction, our own growth in character, will be a witness of hope for the unsure.

c. In our own weakness they will see the power of God’s Love

3. When we have tasted the water that Jesus offers we will find the true freedom of His Love.

a. The false claims of the culture of death that enslaves the heart will melt away

b. In place of the culture of death we will find what we have been hoping for, the fullness of life.


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