Tonight on Perspectives: Living the consecrated life means living your life entirely for God and others, not yourself. The pope explains this during his General Audience. Also, today is the feast of the conversion of St. Paul and the Pontifical Council for Social Communication comments on the importance of silence to get one’s message across.
At the beginning of Mark’s story of the Son of God, we read of the calling of the first disciples (1:16-20) and the confrontation with evil (1:21-28). The calling, influenced by the compelling calls of the prophets (e.g., Isaiah 6:1-13; Jeremiah 1:14-19), is a model of discipleship. Jesus is not a solitary prophet but one who calls companions “to be with him” (Mark 3:14); he enters the lives of four people engaged in their ordinary occupations, simply says, “Follow me” (Mark 1:17), and they immediately leave everything to follow him.
The story of Jesus in the Capernaum synagogue inaugurates the first day of his ministry which consists of exorcisms and healings. The story reflects contemporary Jewish thought that the coming of God’s kingdom would mark the defeat of evil, which is personified in an array of demons and unclean spirits. Jesus’ word is so powerful that people abandon their occupations and follow him, and even demonic powers are powerless before it. Jesus summons people to a change of heart, to take a new look at their lives and put their trust in the good news. This is not simply a story from the past, but one that continues to speak powerfully and prophetically to people today.
Benedict XVI celebrated Vespers on January 25 to mark both the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul and the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The liturgy, which was attended by representatives of various Christian denominations, took place at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside-the-Walls. The video of his homily is above, while, past the break, you can listen to the introduction to the liturgy by Cardinal Kurt Koch, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
Even though the title of the protest is “for life” it is very clear that this event is specifically an anti-abortion event. The March has been held every year since 1974, a year after the Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion in the United States.
But if we are to be called a people of life, we need to have a consistent ethic of life. Don’t get me wrong, we must protest abortion, but if we are going to march for life, we need to do so also for those on death row, the elderly and the disabled.
This is why I think it was significant that for the Cardinal O’Connor Conference, one of the March for Life events, which took place at Georgetown University on Sunday, the keynote address focused on the dignity of the disabled.