Parish Sacred Heart of Jesus

..."You have come to the sprinkled blood" (cf. Heb 12: 22, 24): signs of hope and invitation to commitment...

25. "The voice of your brother's blood is crying to me from the ground" (Gen 4:10). It is not only the voice of the blood of Abel, the first innocent man to be murdered, which cries to God, the source and defender of life. The blood of every other human being who has been killed since Abel is also a voice raised to the Lord. In an absolutely singular way, as the author of the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us, the voice of the blood of Christ, of whom Abel in his innocence is a prophetic figure, cries out to God: "You have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God ... to the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks more graciously than the blood of Abel" (12:22, 24).

It is the sprinkled blood. A symbol and prophetic sign of it had been the blood of the sacrifices of the Old Covenant, whereby God expressed his will to communicate his own life to men, purifying and consecrating them (cf. Ex 24:8; Lev 17:11). Now all of this is fulfilled and comes true in Christ: his is the sprinkled blood which redeems, purifies and saves; it is the blood of the Mediator of the New Covenant "poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Mt 26:28). This blood, which flows from the pierced side of Christ on the Cross (cf. Jn 19:34), "speaks more graciously" than the blood of Abel; indeed, it expresses and requires a more radical "justice", and above all it implores mercy, 19 it makes intercession for the brethren before the Father (cf. Heb 7:25), and it is the source of perfect redemption and the gift of new life.

The blood of Christ, while it reveals the grandeur of the Father's love, shows how precious man is in God's eyes and how priceless the value of his life. The Apostle Peter reminds us of this: "You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your fathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot" (1 Pt 1:18-19). Precisely by contemplating the precious blood of Christ, the sign of his self-giving love (cf. Jn 13:1), the believer learns to recognize and appreciate the almost divine dignity of every human being and can exclaim with ever renewed and grateful wonder: "How precious must man be in the eyes of the Creator, if he ?gained so great a Redeemer' (Exsultet of the Easter Vigil), and if God ?gave his only Son' in order that man ?should not perish but have eternal life' (cf. Jn 3:16)!". 20

Furthermore, Christ's blood reveals to man that his greatness, and therefore his vocation, consists in the sincere gift of self. Precisely because it is poured out as the gift of life, the blood of Christ is no longer a sign of death, of definitive separation from the brethren, but the instrument of a communion which is richness of life for all. Whoever in the Sacrament of the Eucharist drinks this blood and abides in Jesus (cf. Jn 6:56) is drawn into the dynamism of his love and gift of life, in order to bring to its fullness the original vocation to love which belongs to everyone (cf. Gen 1:27; 2:18-24).

It is from the blood of Christ that all draw the strength to commit themselves to promoting life. It is precisely this blood that is the most powerful source of hope, indeed it is the foundation of the absolute certitude that in God's plan life will be victorious. "And death shall be no more", exclaims the powerful voice which comes from the throne of God in the Heavenly Jerusalem (Rev 21:4). And Saint Paul assures us that the present victory over sin is a sign and anticipation of the definitive victory over death, when there "shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?' " (1 Cor 15:54-55)....

Gabriel Project -  866-444-3553   - www.helpforpregnantwomen.org
Project Rachel -  888-456-HOPE - www.helpafterabortion.org

At St. Lawrence, we have many Respect Life and Pro-Life events and ministries; if you would like to participate, join, or help, please review Events or Group and Lay Ministries for more information. Below are some of our Pro-Life projects, focusing on respect for life, to help those in need; pamphlets are available in the Parish Office for the Gabriel and Rachel Projects.  As Catholics, we are pro-life and respect ALL life.

A Pro Life Mobile unit offers free ultrasounds every week in Alexandria and Falls Church.  Go to www.abcwomenshealth.com for more information.

A weekly Pro-Life Prayer Vigil is held outside the Duke Street abortion clinics.  Please join St. Lawrence and other area parishes every Saturday, 9:00 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. in a weekly Rosary conducted outside the clinics at 2839 Duke Street, Alexandria, Virginia.  For directions and further informaiton, contact the rectory or Bruce Borzino 703-541-2801.


"The 40 Days for Life campaign is a focused, prayerful, and life-saving effort that consists of the following main elements:

  • 40 days of prayer and fasting
  • 40 days of peaceful vigil
  • 40 days of community outreach

We are praying that, with God's help, this groundbreaking effort will help end abortion in Alexandria and throughout America."  (This is an excerpt from the web site of http://www.40DaysForLife.com/Alexandria .)  Please visit this site for more information. 

St. Lawrence welcomes all Volunteers; it is assigned "Tuesdays" at the vigil site. 


Gabriel Project :
  "Pregnant? Need Help?"  The Gabriel Project began when a priest placed a sign in front of a Catholic Church offering parish assistance to any pregnant woman in need."
" Do Not be afraid... Nothing is impossible for God"   (Lk 1:30)... The Angel Gabriel's words to the Virgin Mary." These are quotes from the Gabriel Project Arlington who can be reached at 1.866.444.3553 - "Helping pregnant women in need."

The Gabriel Project offers confidential needs assistance, parish "Angel" friend for support, pre-natal care assistance, and additional help from parish ministries, Catholic Charities, crisis pregnancy centers and other community resources.  [NOTE: Above 2 paragraphs and this one, are excerpts taken directly from the Gabriel Project pamphlets; pamphlets and program are sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington] ; visit the Diocese web site at
http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/familylife/gabriel.php. 

Cradle:  Here at St. Lawrence, a cradle is placed in the vestibule for donated baby items Newborn to 24 months only.  These items are donated to local Pregnancy Centers. 

Pope Benedict XVI said: "Each of us is the result of God.  Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary."

Through Project Rachel , please know there is HOPE for women who have had an abortion. Project Rachel provides "HOPE & HEALING after abortion.. If you or a friend are hurting from abortion, please call... 1.888.456.HOPE or 703.841.2504.  Project Rachel is a referral service sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington..." 

"Rachel mourns for her children; she refuses to be consoled because her children are no more. Thus says the Lord: Cease your cries of mourning. Wipe the tears from your eyes. The sorrow you have shown shall have its reward. There is hope for your future."      ~Jeremiah 31:15-17

"...do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope."  "Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly.  If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you His forgiveness and  His peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. To the same Father and to His mercy you can with sure hope entrust your child."     Pope John Paul II (Blessed John Paul) ~ Pamphlets Vitae, No. 99.

For more detailed information on "Project Rachel,"please visit the web site of the Catholic Diocese of Arlington at  http://www.arlingtondiocese.org/familylife/rachel.php.  [Information provided above on Project Rachel are excerpts from the pamphlet provided and sponsored by the Catholic Diocese of Arlington.]


 

Respect Life  ...   Pro-Life

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