Again, I didn't have time this week to write out my text, so I can only give you some bullet points after the fact:
> I began with the refrain from the psalm: 'the vineyard of the Lord is the house of Israel' -- since we are grafted in, this applies to the Church; since the Lord is concerned for justice (in the first reading), then we can apply it to the whole world.
> The point is clear enough: God expects us to take good care of the vineyard--of people--and insofar as this is Respect Life Sunday, we might look at how we are doing taking care of human life.
> "Justice" -- respect for human dignity, from conception to natural death, care for the poor.
> So let's ask ourselves, how are we doing?
> Both good and bad. The fact that the Catholic Church is recognized as powerful witness for human life and human dignity, opposing abortion and the death penalty for example, in our society, is something promising. We are bearing witness. How much worse things would be were we not here; we have influence out of proportion to our numbers. We are prominent. Another positive: so many parishioners do so much to bear witness.
> But the society is heading in the wrong direction. We can't be complacent. I cited the move toward euthanasia, and cited Martin Sheen's ad against assisted suicide in Washington, using his argument about how it would target the poor and weak. I cited "research" using unborn babies resulting from "in vitro" fertilization, and pointed out both candidates for president were for it and for us paying for it. This is not one of the positives.
> I also cited the younger generation is more prolife and I cited the Life Chain today and invited everyone to attend or say a prayer at the time.
> I made the point that we have a duty to bear witness and a right as citizens, contrary to those voices who say Catholics should keep their beliefs to themselves. I said it was a scandal to have Catholics in prominent positions, in office, using their power to advance abortion, and we have a duty and right to communicate directly with them, and urge them to change direction. We have to be concerned for their eternal salvation.
> I said we have no right to be discouraged, we have Christ! We have the consolation of the peace that St. Paul spoke about in the second reading. We can make a difference, we are making a difference.
> I pointed out that Respect Life Sunday began in 1972--before Roe; the bishops saw what was coming; the trends were underway.
> I said there was a prophet who warned us: Pope Paul VI, in Humanae Vitae, and that his words weren't accepted because the teaching on contraception was hard for many to accept; many Catholics do not accept it. But he said if we attempt to control the gift of life this way, governments would seek to do this, and they have; that abortion and promiscuity would follow, and it did. We should take another look at what this prophet told us because what he predicted has come to pass.
> I ended by emphasizing trust in the Lord being with us and helping us to turn things around; I'm sure I said it better but I cannot recall just how.
Sorry, have to run to the Life Chain. Please pray with confidence that the Lord will bring conversion and healing to our society!