In this January 21st trio of homilies I offer today, I will just briefly comment on the pain of abortions in the land and how there still is much healing needed about them all. We especially think of the victims in all of this. If but they were at least acknowledged. One day I dream of a turned-around America where we have a memorial in Arlington Cemetery to the Unborn Americans—to the tens of millions gone missing. Like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier who has died, or to Americans killed tragically, like Kennedy, and his flame going in remembrance and loss to our nation. The Unborn deserve it. We have had that spirit of mourning to do it for the Jewish Holocaust and a national memorial; what of this newer holocaust?
There’s a familiar passage in God’s Word to steer us right, as in Deuteronomy 30 it says to us: “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God… Listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life… Now, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. See, I set before you LIFE today…For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land.” May we take that Word of God to heart, and try to live it out. It has been a challenging Scripture to believers to fully follow, for sure.
I will add, then, about that challenge, that it is with caution that I speak on life issues because there are people once involved or supportive of abortions who have repented of it, and yet it still stings for them to hear even the word “abortion” mentioned from the pulpit, with it even feeling, for them, like a pro-life homily can seem like finger-pointing words directed randomly or something from the homilist, as poor treatment given, which isn’t intended—but that there are many issues and feelings that come up in this realm. As for some others, they get uncomfortable hearing about this cause over and over, as ‘if it’s not really that big a thing.’ But isn’t it? Have they responded in any way to it—even in just doing some rosary prayers in reparation for America’s woe? As for some other pro-life considerations, some people are hesitant to go all-in with it because they are not fully satisfied with the pro-life platform on some things: like, certainly, that we are ill-prepared to care for all the 600,000 plus U.S. babies which we are planning to save, and be born rather than lost—then where are all the supports in place for that?! It’s not there, but for only a much smaller number. Also, there are women’s issues that need to be taken seriously, whereas, if not—it leaves them feeling upset. Sure. Sensitivity is needed in a pro-life homily from the pulpit. We should affirm women and not send a discouraging message, for you are in the Church and in the Lord’s care right now. So may God bless you. For some men and fathers, too, there are some sensitive sides to the issues at hand. Thus, the pro-life message still needs to be loving, and not to be sounding as too judging—or pushy. That same applies to those on the abortion-allowance messaging, that they not speak down or do as belittling others or forcing upon others their side, treating those who differ with them as idiots. That shows their spirit is just wrong.
But the Truth is still out there and our God is a God of Life. He has laid down the basics: You shall not kill. We need to repent seriously to God if and when we do break His law.
The Scriptures for today do mention the people and king of Nineveh who repented when God sent His messenger Jonah to them. Today’s Gospel of Jesus inaugural message is of Him saying “repent, and believe the good news, the kingdom of God is at hand.”
There it is.
The homily end. If the sound system is able to pick it up, then I will turn to close the Sunday homily by playing the sound of a baby’s heartbeat at 3 weeks in the womb. There is a Christian ministry called Save the Storks which is a pregnancy testing mobile unit team with ultrasound machines that help new parents of pre-birthed children to hear the heartbeat begun within of their little one. Save the Storks is a compassionate, pro-Mom, high support ministry—which has 100 mobile unit teams going now. I first heard about them this past week and about the impact of their helping brand new parents to hear the new heartbeats of their womb child. That sound should be heard before any decisions or actions are made concerned the womb child. First, let’s hear how they are here with us, with hearts beating. Inspired by that method, I will end the homily with an audio recording from my I-phone. It will be the sound of a human babies heartbeat at 3-weeks in the womb, the time when heartbeats can be first heard.
What I first was writing words down and drafts for my Pro Life Homily for January (a Catholic tradition in this month), I was prepared to just focus on one sorrowful number of 65 million. (It’s the total recorded number of USA abortions since January 1973.)
I decided to just add it on to this blog but not into the pulpit message. The heartbeat sound was enough of a message for life.
But here is a homily I first wrote called 65 Million.
[It’s the Alternate Homily—more appropriate as just in written form here. I tested it out and it seemed pretty strong to some hearers of it being practiced out. So I went with the above homily message…]
It’s “Respect Life” Month in the Church Year: it’s January. One can give a Defend Life message using the number of abortion deaths that we are currently mourning. Here it is bluntly: We failed in defending 65 million American babies, who are now gone from our land—once our newborns—yet aborted. We mourn them. Jesus assures us that “blessed are those who mourn.”
The damage of the “culture of death” around us in this nation is more than high enough for God to pull away His favor on us or even put judgment upon us in the USA, like we heard our same God almost did at Nineveh, in hearing the Jonah story today. He’d be talking to all of us as co-responsible for our “culture of death” and all the loss of life—not just people “who did an abortion.” We all are under this umbrella of responsibility. God will ask: So what did you do about it? Look at the numbers on your watch!
65 million babies aborted is a huge number, and we add over 600,000 more per year in our land in 2024. The epistle of today’s Mass hauntingly says that our “time is running out or running short” and I think in context of life issues, and offenses to God that must test our status with Him. We weary our God of being so rebellious to Him on life issues, and time is ticking on us.
What’s 65 million missing people to you? What’s 65 million people and souls to God mean? 65 million is the number of Americans who watched last night’s NFL playoff games. 65 million is the number of people combined who live in our two largest metropolis-cities in the world of Tokyo in Japan and Delhi in India. 65 million is the number of people currently living in the states of Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington state, Arizona, and Nevada.
If suddenly this number perished, of any of those three groups (NFL watchers last night, Toyko and Delhi cites combined, or people in those six western states–then I’d think it’d be the largest atrocity of human history, right? 65 million is near the number of persons who are seniors in the USA right now. Does it matter that they live? Of course, but on the entry level of life—65 million did not, since 1973. Some would be 51 years old today among the 1973 group, some would be 51 hours old, of those who could have been born on last Thursday, but were aborted. 65 million people are missing from the nation, as they were aborted. Very few of them were given a resting place; for people with Planned Parenthood deaths—a dumpster or worse.
Arlington National Cemetery has 400,000 graves; and in the middle is the tomb of the unknown soldier. If the aborted had their place and plot of respect, like that, as recognized as “missing,” you’d need 163 times the amount of Arlington cemetery to accommodate their land and markers. Or Right to Life people would be good with one day a marker of regret, for missing aborted Americans, and an eternal flame in Arlington, in its section of special respect given. If the U.S. President would lead a prayer of sorrow, and I’m sure the Washington Archbishop would stand by him, and just say “we repent of our wrongdoing” then it would be very similar to the Jonah story of today’s opening reading. But what Jonah today will stir up the repentant spirit needed? In that story, time was running short on Nineveh, very short! What’s our USA timeline?
I could make more compelling comparisons of using the 65 million number.
The total number of dead Americans in all her wars in national history is 1.1 million. The abortion number of dead Americans: 65 million since 1973.
Last year a terrible 600,000 American persons died of cancer. More died from abortion—so cancer is not the leading cause of death in America, as so often reported.
What are other leading causes of death in America? + Accidents or unintentional injuries took 224,935 lives. + Stroke or all cerebrovascular diseases took 162,890 persons away from us. + Now add on Alzheimer’s disease that took 119,399 more—yet all of those three other major leading causes of death, all joined together, did not surpass the cause of death by abortion. For 2020, a total of 620,327 abortions were reported to CDC by 49 areas—which was short the actual number then. But it exceeded cancer in number, or it exceeded three other leading causes of death put together—that take most American lives. Abortion outdid them. Sad. Year after Year since 1973 it has been so, until we now have 65 million abortions. Now you know, at least by comparison, of how BIG a number it is. It is why we mourn and repent as fellow Americans of our sins. Through our fault, through our fault, through our most grievous fault. Lord have mercy.

One thought on “Respect for Life Message, Fr. Barry

  1. Excellent blog, Fr. Barry. Thank you for always speaking out about the atrocity of a culture of death and the toll this takes on a nation.

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