From Father Steven - October 10, 2021
Dear Brothers & Sisters,
In this weekend’s Gospel, there is a young man who asks Jesus what is necessary to inherit eternal life. Immediately Jesus replies that it is necessary first to love our neighbor. So, this weekend I would like to call your attention to a group of people that need our help. As we continue the Respect Life Month, this weekend we will be focusing on the unborn children.
Recalling this weekend’s Gospel, one may think that Jesus should have begun asking the young man if he loves God above everything else. We know it’s the first commandment. The second and the third are also in reference to the love of God. Instead Jesus skips to the second grouping of the commandments, which are all focused on the love of the neighbor. One may argue that if we don’t love our neighbor first, we can’t love God. We read in the first letter of John, “If someone says, ‘I love God’, and yet hates his brother or sister, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother and sister whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.” (1 Jn 4:20) So now the question becomes, who is my neighbor? Jesus himself in the parable of the good Samaritan tells us that our neighbor is those in need close to us. In our society we do have a lot of people in need. So, WHO SHOULD WE HELP? EVERYONE!!!! The poor, the needy, the stranger…everyone that God puts in our path. Surely there might be times in which our help may be limited, but there is always, at least something small, that we can do. However, there is a group of people that REALLY NEED OUR HELP, who are COMPLETELY DEFENSELESS, that don’t have anyone to defend them, and they are the UNBORN.
We believe in the Church that life begins at the moment of conception. We know from science, that the child begins his development from that moment. Week by week we can observe the formation of the heart, brain, and all the other organs. However, at that stage in life, they are completely vulnerable to all sorts of things, including the hardships of the mother. In my short time as a priest, many people who had an abortion say that they did not see any other feasible solution other than abortion. Today, with much regret, they understand it was the wrong decision. They see that there were indeed other ways to deal with the pregnancy. That’s why when we raise our voices against abortion, it’s not about the mother or the unwanted pregnancy. The main problem is that abortion is not and never will be a way to deal with pregnancy. Whether the federal government grants legal rights to the unborn child or not, we understand that there is a divine mandate to love and respect every single person, including those in the womb. That child has an innate right to live. So, when facing a situation in which the mother cannot raise the child, the annihilation of her baby is not the solution. Unfortunately, we also see how there is an industry that came about exploiting this vulnerable moment for the women. Allow me to make a very important note here. More often than not, the burden of the pregnancy falls on the woman, because the man does not take responsibility. For them it is very easy to run away or abandon their partner, which is very worrisome. If the father of the child were to stand with his partner, I believe that a number of them would not search for an abortion.
In light of this situation, WHAT CAN WE DO? We, as the Church, always pray for the mothers, the fathers, and the unborn. We have dedicated holy hours for the unborn and for the healing of anyone who had an abortion. Here in the Archdiocese we have the Project Rachel, which is a healing ministry for women. There are pregnancy help centers (we have two in Marlboro), and much more. This weekend there is one more way in which we can help the babies. Back in December, here in Massachusetts, the State Senate joined the House of Representatives in passing a legislation expanding the abortion laws, overriding the veto from Gov. Baker. Besides lowering the age of abortion, and removing the consent of parents for minors, the law also allows children who were born alive from an abortion to die. After a Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court intervention, we were allowed to collect signatures to place a petition for next year ballots to protect these babies who survive an abortion. At the end of the masses this weekend, those would like to support this cause, we ask you to sign the petition. The petition forms are town specific, so please sign only the town in which you are registered to vote. This is a voluntary signature drive.
Regarding last week’s bulletin, in which we were also asked to help the elderly against the physician assisted suicide bill, below is the contact information of our State Senator and Representative.
James Eldridge State Senator - 617-722-1120 and Danielle Gregoire, Representative - 617-722-2140.
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Father Steven Clemence