People attending the Archbishop’s Vigil for Life Sept. 24 in Bellevue walk in procession to the nearby abortion clinic to pray and witness to the sanctity of human life. SUSAN SZALEWSKI/STAFF


How to proceed in a post-Roe world? Mary shows the way

The abortion landscape has changed since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June.

But pro-life Catholics always have a road map, courtesy of the Blessed Virgin Mary, according to Archbishop George J. Lucas.

The archbishop explained the way forward for pro-lifers in his homily at the annual Archbishop’s Vigil for Life on Sept. 24 at St. Mary Church in Bellevue.

Even after the recent court victory, which returned abortion law-making back to states, “there’s lots of good work for us still to do,” the archbishop said.

Participants at the pro-life vigil worshipped together at Mass before praying the Rosary while walking to a nearby abortion clinic, standing before the clinic and returning to the church. Once inside again, they adored Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament.

In his homily, Archbishop Lucas referred to the Gospel reading for the Mass, St. Luke’s account of the Visitation, when Mary, who had just consented to be the Mother of God, traveled to her cousin Elizabeth, who also was pregnant.

“And always, our Blessed Mother Mary gives us an example of how we might carry out this good work, especially now, in this new chapter of the pro-life movement.”

Archbishop Lucas described how during her meeting with Elizabeth, Mary “allowed the presence of Jesus, the power of Jesus to take over and to begin to have its healing and saving effect.”

At the moment the two women met, the baby in Elizabeth’s womb leaped for joy and Elizabeth herself was stirred by the Holy Spirit, proclaiming Mary’s powerful role in salvation.

“Even though he was unseen and his name wasn’t even mentioned in this passage of St. Luke’s Gospel, Jesus was really at the heart of things,” the archbishop said. “And it was his presence, being borne by the Virgin Mary into the house of Elizabeth, that caused this great stirring of faith, through his presence, through the power of the Holy Spirit.”

“We want to follow her example,” he said, when receiving Jesus in Holy Communion and bearing him to others.

“The Lord comes to us. He makes his home in each of us,” Archbishop Lucas said. “We have the privilege of then bearing Jesus with us, wherever we go. So as we go about our daily activities … we bring Jesus with us.”

“So we want to be conscious of that ourselves. First of all, what a great privilege. … We know we’re unworthy to receive him. We say that before Communion, and it’s the truest thing we say.

“But the Lord comes to be with us. … Then we go out.

“We might ask ourselves,” he said, when we  go home, to work and out into the community, “what’s stirring out there?”

“Am I communicating … the living presence of Jesus?”

“Now, as we’ve turned the page in the pro-life movement, think not so much: What’s the court going to do? But we ask ourselves: What are we going to do? How are we going to communicate the compassion, the mercy of our Savior Jesus Christ to our neighbors, especially those who might be struggling” with a temptation of abortion or who have already been wounded by abortion.

“There are so many people in our community who need the compassion of Jesus, who need the mercy of Jesus, who need to know that Jesus wants to be close to them, even though they’re not worthy.

“But the Lord loves them,” Archbishop Lucas said. “He loves you and me. And he wants to be with them so they don’t feel alone, so that they don’t feel isolated.”

“Mary didn’t want her cousin Elizabeth to be alone as she found herself pregnant and in her older age. So she went to be with her, just to be with her. And she brought the power of the Holy Spirit. It was a beautiful experience of the presence of Jesus.”

“This is the privilege that’s offered you,” he said. “It’s a privilege that follows from that first privilege.”

“We pray that we might be worthy to bear Jesus.” 


Sign up for weekly updates and news from the Archdiocese of Omaha!
This is default text for notification bar