This is a church near my house. It’s not my parish, but it’s dear to my heart because my youngest child attends their school. Although I love the church itself, I was never crazy about the architecture of the building. It just didn’t feel right.
One day, as my family drove past the building, someone in the back seat piped up about how odd it is. More voices chimed in, comparing it to various things, when my husband added: “It reminds me of a circus tent.” Suddenly, I remembered something I had just learned about the literal translation of John 1:14 —“And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory, the glory as of the Father’s only Son, full of grace and truth.” The passage actually says that Jesus pitched His tent among ours.
Jesus. Lives. In. My. Neighborhood.
I already knew that He was truly present in that church, and in every tabernacle throughout the world, but it really hit my heart in that instant. Jesus loves me so much, wants to be with me so much, that He was willing to leave Heaven and come to me where I am right now. It’s the unfathomable mystery of the Incarnation, which we celebrate today. God could have brought about our salvation instantaneously, but instead He chose to humble Himself in a truly outrageous way that respected our free will and protected our dignity — by becoming human like us, and experiencing all that we do.
How appropriate that as we celebrate Jesus’s Incarnation on today’s Feast of the Annunciation, we also commemorate the Day of the Unborn Child. Jesus did not hesitate to become an “embryo” or “fetus”…He embraced every second of His human life, even the most vulnerable and difficult ones, for our sake. Today we pray that each child in the womb will be cherished by his or her earthly parents just as God cherishes them. And we ask Mary’s intercession for all mothers surprised by the new life growing within them, that they may place their trust in God and say YES to His plan just as she did.
7-9 AM +++ Barbara and Richard
“What is a woman?” A very important woman publicly flubbed this question at a nationally televised venue yesterday. This morning our Friday Pittsburgh 40 Days for Life shift witnessed for the priceless gift of fertility women possess. We witnessed for the priceless role men play in human fertility. Together men and women share the the natural beauty that is designed to create an entirely new human. I won’t insult you by asking you what a woman is. You know. You don’t need to be a biologist! If your little kids take a tubby together, even they can answer it correctly.
Our sidewalk was certainly crowded. Richard, Bill, Tom and two of his Saint Catherine Laboure (Saint Joan of Arc Church and Saint Louise De Marillac Church) parishioners, and Terry – a regular – brought and shared the Holy Spirit. Kathy came and accepted her share of the burden we share – witness for life in a hostile, lethargic culture. May Beauty, ever ancient, ever new, ignite our hearts.Barbara
9-11 AM +++ Michael, Kathy, and Mark
Present with me on the sidewalk today was Terry from Central Catholic, Glen and Tom, and Michael S. A man named Tom stopped by to give his support. PP escort was there also until 10:15.Kathy
Michael and I offered resources to both clients and passersby. Some accepted. I passed out coins with pregnancy helpline stamped on back and ultrasound image of an unborn child on front. One young lady who accepted the coin thanked me for it.
Not much interaction today with clients, but prayers were offered to end abortion by a passerby named Edward. The rest of us prayed silently.
11 AM-1 PM +++ Katie and Elsie
1-3 PM +++ Elaine and Donna
What a wonderful crowd on the sidewalk today. Many came to pray the consecration of Mary. May all the prayers be a sweet fragrance of incense to our Lord. “Before I formed you I knew you ~God” was written in chalk on the street where the crosswalk is in front of PP. Many who passed by read it. Shortly after I arrived Gerard and I had a conversation with a woman. She was from Turkey and shared with us how her mother was going to abort her but didn’t. I told her she was beautiful. Thanks be to God! We had many positive affirmations; thumbs up and a car passing by yelling STOP ABORTION!!! We also had some not so nice gestures and words said. We said God bless you and prayed for all who passed by. One couple leaving PP accepted a brochure and then drove by and crumbled it up and threw it and said F the children. Again we prayed for that couple. God’s Word says in Matthew 19:14, “Jesus says, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” We know that all the babies killed at PP are in the presence of the Lord safe and whole. One of our sidewalk advocates felt compelled to be there today and actually ended up having a divine appointment with “Mary.” Mary visits us often. This SA walked with Mary and prayed with her and took her to lunch. At one point while she was praying, church bells were ringing. Elaine said that means her prayers will be answered. We are believing God will do amazing things in Mary’s life! Thank you Lord for sending your disciples to the sidewalk to be your hands and feet and shine their light brightly. In Nehemiah 8:10, Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Thanks to all who show up, day after day and week after week! God bless you all! Blessings For Life,Donna
3-5 PM +++ Val and Mike
5-7 PM +++ Pat and Bill