Preached at Holy Sepulcher Parish on January 19, 2018 at a 6:00am Communion Service before our trip to the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
I wrote a beautiful email to the Pope Francis last week. I knew he was going to be busy in Chile this week and everything, but I had an important question for him that I needed an answer and, so I looked up the pope’s email address and sent my question. The pope had just announced that anyone who was going to the March for Life in Washington, D. C. and attended Mass that day in a state of grace would receive a plenary indulgence from the Church. In case you don’t know what a plenary indulgence is, it is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been committed. In more simpler terms, it is like a get out of purgatory free card. That is quite a nice thing to have and I wanted one. So I sent him an email because we are not having Mass today obviously, there is no priest here today, so I wanted to know if he would allow a communion service to count for the indulgence.
But we don’t go to the March for Life to receive an indulgence. We march because life is sacred. We march because life is a gift from God. We march to stand up for those who have no say about whether they will be given a chance to live or not. We may even have our own personal reasons to be marching. For me, the child of an unwed high school teenage mom, I march that those who feel they have made a terrible mistake that they need to correct or eliminate, that they may see that mistake for what it truly is, a gift from God and a chance for God to work in a very special and powerful way in their lives.
Today we follow the example of David in today’s first reading. Saul chased David all over Israel, Judah, and most of the Middle East to kill him. David stumbles upon Saul asleep and it’s his chance to kill Saul instead, but he says, “I will not raise a hand against my lord, for he is the Lord’s anointed.” David considered Saul’s life sacred, a gift from God that he could not take away. David chose life.
In today’s gospel, Jesus calls the disciples, the disciples answered the call, and then he sends them. Today our Lord has called us as well. We have answered that call today. Shortly he will send us to be people of life and love, to share the gift of life and love with our country and our world.
I never heard back from Pope Francis. For whatever reason when the pope received an email from Deacon David Miller of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he either didn’t receive it, deleted it, ignored it, or whatever. But I never heard back from him. But we do not go to the March for Life to receive an indulgence, we go in support of life and we do so as disciples of the Lord! Now we receive our Lord in the Eucharist and so we do not go alone to march today. Our Lord goes with us!
Rejoice and be glad!