Thursday, December 18, 2014

rss-feed-usepinterest-button Twitter logo blue

 

Viewpoints

Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge: Proclaim the sacredness of all human life

burbidge

The following is the homily given by the Diocese of Raleigh Bishop Michael Burbidge during the Jan. 23 North Carolina Respect Life Mass at the Basilica Shrine of the Immaculate Conception:

Last week in North Carolina at the MLK Interfaith Prayer Breakfast, the keynote speaker was the Chief Executive Officer for AT&T. In her address, she referred frequently to the recent campaign initiative of her company: Rethink Possible. She used the phrase to help those gathered to imagine what the world would like if love prevailed and all people, without exception, were treated equally.

Dear friends in Christ, our gathering today at this magnificent Basilica Shrine and soon on the streets of our nation's capital reflects what we truly believe is possible:

It is possible to change the hearts of elected officials so that their decisions, actions and votes ensure a society in which all people are treated equally and never denied the right to be born and to live with dignity and respect.

It is possible to inflame a "culture of death" with the Gospel of Life through the enthusiastic, joyful and peaceful witness that we offer, especially as demonstrated through the thousands of youth present today. Dear young friends in Christ, Bishop Jugis and I are so very proud of you!

It is possible to help others understand and acknowledge that a miraculous event takes place at the moment of conception when a new, unrepeatable and irreplaceable human being comes to exist.

It is possible to overturn the horrific decision of Roe vs. Wade and to ensure that in our great nation abortion is illegal, inaccessible and impossible.

My brothers and sisters, we know the reasons for the hopes and prayers we share and we understand how they can become realities. They are rooted in the Truth, who is Jesus Christ. By His birth, the Son of God and the Son of Mary has made all human life sacred. By His suffering, death and resurrection, Jesus Christ has demonstrated the infinite worth and value of all persons. Thus, His mandate is that life from the moment of conception to natural death must be revered, defended and protected and that respect and dignity are shown to all of His people, especially the unborn, weak, vulnerable, the needy and those whose rights and freedom are violated.

My friends in Christ, we also understand how it is possible to transform society. As today's Gospel teaches, it can only occur with the amazing grace of God. We are merely the branches, the instruments. It is the Lord who is the true vine and through whom abundant fruit is produced. Yes, we must continue to advocate on behalf of the sacredness of human life. Yes, we must offer witness in the public arena. Yet, the greatest gift we give to the Pro-Life movement is our renewed commitment to heed the call of Saint Paul in our First Reading and remain a people who rejoice in hope and persevere in prayer, most especially as we allow ourselves to be enlightened by the Lord's word and nourished with His Holy Body and Blood. Our deep faith is demonstrated when we entrust all our work and endeavors to His divine providence through the intercession of Mary Our Mother, who most perfectly understood that all things are possible with God!

Through her intercession, we go forth from this Mass spiritually renewed and strengthened to help others Rethink Possible and to proclaim the sacredness of all human life in the Holy Name of Jesus, who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen. 

To view video from the Mass, go to the Diocese of Raleigh's You Tube Channel

  • Father Patrick Hoare: We don't speak up enough for life Father Patrick Hoare: We don't speak up enough for life
    Recently, the newspaper in our city ran a series of stories about "cheaters" in the construction industry. It is estimated that more than one-third of contractors in our state do not follow the law in classifying and reporting the payroll of...
  • Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: What makes a marriage work? Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: What makes a marriage work?
    The one indispensable ingredient in marriage is communication. Communication requires active listening, using "I" statements, paying attention to one's feelings and to those of one's spouse, and learning how to "fight fair." Put another way,...
  • Allison Schumacher: The grateful heart Allison Schumacher: The grateful heart
    A midst the gatherings of family and friends, the aromas drifting from the activity-filled kitchens, and the conversations and laughter around dining room tables, Thanksgiving Day draws our attention to the many blessings in our lives – blessings...
  • Sister Constance Veit: Cultivating a 'spirituality of encounter' this Advent Sister Constance Veit: Cultivating a 'spirituality of encounter' this Advent
    In September Pope Francis celebrated "the blessing of long life" with thousands of senior citizens and their families. In his homily that day he spoke about the Visitation of the Virgin Mary to her cousin Elizabeth, calling it "a Gospel of encounter."...
  • Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk: Physician-assisted suicide and confronting our fears Father Tadeusz Pacholczyk: Physician-assisted suicide and confronting our fears
    The prospect of a very attractive, recently-married young woman with a terminal illness facing excruciating pain and suffering as she dies is enough to move anyone. The life and death of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard recently captured enormous...
  • Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: What makes a marriage? Mercy Sister Jeanne-Margaret McNally: What makes a marriage?
    "The consent of the parties, legitimately manifested between persons qualified by law, makes marriage..." (Canon 1057 §1) Consent is a deep-seated act of the spirit of a human person. By consent, we mean that intelligence and free will are...
  • Leslye Colvin: Ours to remember and share Leslye Colvin: Ours to remember and share
    Cultures designate specific times to honor events and peoples significant to their history. Scripture proclaims that even within the first week of creation it was important to honor God on the seventh day. Humanity moves within the parameters...
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18
  • 19
  • 20

LETTERS FROM OUR READERS

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12

FROM THE PASTORS

Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at  parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte: