Sunday, January 22, 2006

Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

Today's scripture readings generate a sense of urgency, but also of hope. The theme uniting the two is that of *calling*. Nineveh is in danger of being destroyed because of the immorality of its inhabitants...Johan is called to call the them to repentance...disaster is averted. Jesus calls Simon and Andrew then James and John to become fishers of men. Paul calls the early Christians to a radical life lived in light of the truth that "the world in its present form is passing away." This means setting aside anything in life which keeps us from proclaiming the saving Gospel of Christ Jesus. Some will hear that message and seek God. Jonah leaves his city for Nineveh--with an interlude of fleeing the Lord. The Disciples leave their families and jobs, early Christians gave up their possessions and customary ways of life. What is God calling us to, what must we leave behind?

Today is the 33rd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that made any abortion any time during pregnancy for any reason a legal right of any pregnant woman. I was going to say a prayer for the unborn today during the prayers of the people, but--for the first time I remember since I've been attending the Newman Center--there was no opportunity for the people to add their prayers. During the written prayers of the people there was a nod to the "seamless garment of life" which has become a code-word for overlooking people's pro-abortion stance as long as they support government funding of universal healthcare. I can't tell whether universal government funded healthcare is a good idea or not this issue has a lot of complexities. What's not complex is that Guttmacher Institute--a pro-abortion think tank--about 95% of abortions are for matters of convenience.
  • On average, women give at least 3 reasons for choosing abortion: 3/4 say that having a baby would interfere with work, school or other responsibilities. Source: Torres A and Forrest JD, Why do women have abortions? Family Planning Perspectives, 1988, 24(4):169-176.
  • 93% of women report reasons other than rape, incest, or health threat as reason for abortion. Source: Aida Torres and J.D. Forrest, "Why Do Women Have Aboritons?" Family Planning Perspectives, Vol. 20 No. 4 (July/August 1988) p. 170

It is very uncomfortable to publicly oppose abortion. Even though a solid majority of American's oppose abortion on demand, we're not supposed to talk about it. This unwritten rule applies to polite circles in a lot of parishes as well. It was uncomfortable for Jonah to leave for Nineveh. It was uncomfortable for the Disciples to leave their homes and jobs. It was uncomfortable for early Christian's to refuse to worship Caesar. What is God calling us to, what must we leave behind?


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