This weekend, Catholics nationwide celebrate Respect Life Sunday with the theme of “Every Life: Cherished, Chosen, Sent.”
In 1531, when the indigenous peoples of Mexico were subjugated and the practice of human sacrifice was still a recent memory, the Mother of God appeared to St. Juan Diego as a pregnant native woman, now known as Our Lady of Guadalupe.
She sent him with miraculous flowers in his cloak to tell the bishop to build a church where people could receive her loving, tender care. When St. Juan Diego opened the cloak before the bishop, an image of Our Lady was revealed that remains to this day. The chapel was quickly built, millions embraced Christianity, and the Church increased its protection of the indigenous peoples.
By embracing the mission entrusted to him, St. Juan Diego helped bring Christ’s transforming love to cultures ripped by oppression and death.
Today, we again see the dignity of human life disregarded. Unborn children are destroyed through abortion, and ill people are encouraged and assisted to take their own lives. How do we respond?
The essence of our identity is that we are created in God’s image and likeness and loved by Him. Nothing can diminish the priceless worth of any human life. Every person is cherished.
God creates every person for eternal union with Himself and continually invites us to embrace a loving relationship with Him. Every person is chosen.
We are called to be messengers of God’s love, treating one another as cherished and chosen by Him. In doing so, we help build a culture that respects all human life. Every person is sent.
Like St. Juan Diego, let us embrace our daily mission to help others encounter God’s transforming, life-giving love. (Copyright, 2018, USCCB, Washington, DC)
Pope Francis has invited all the faithful—of all the world—to pray a Holy Rosary daily the entire Marian month of October. According to the Vatican Press Office, “the Holy Father wants to join in communion and in penitence, as the people of God, in asking the Holy Mother of God and Saint Michael the Archangel to protect us from the devil, who always seeks to separate us from God and from each other.” The Holy Father has asked that the recitation of the Holy Rosary conclude with the prayer written by Pope Leo XIII: “Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl through the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.”
May God bless you and keep you always in His Love. Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, pray for us!
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish