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Archbishop Carlson calls for persistence, determination in sharing the message to choose life unconditionally

Morning Mass fires up teens before annual March for Life

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson implored teens at Generation Life to show persistence and determination as they proclaim a culture of life — not just at the March for Life, but in their everyday lives.

In the homily at morning Mass at the Gateway Marriott Hotel in Arlington, Va., before the annual March for Life, Archbishop Carlson, who is attending his 14th march in a row, cited the persistence and determination of four friends from that morning’s Gospel of Mark, who braved the crowds to bring their paralytic friend to the feet of Jesus so that he could be healed.

Firing up the teens, the archbishop asked between bursts of cheers: “Are you persistent? Are you trying to make a difference? Are you trying to defend in innocent life, not just today but every single day of your lives?”

Since the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe vs. Wade 46 years ago, more than 59 million children have been “snuffed out” by abortion, he said. Breaking that down, he said, that amounts to roughly 1.3 million abortions every year, and more than 109,000 a month.

“Each abortion is more than just a number,” he said. ”It’s a tiny baby whose life was snuffed out and a mother injured in the process. … There are always alternatives, right? Always alternatives. Each abortion is a father who will never experience the joy of holding his tiny son or daughter.”

He said that we might live in a culture that does not seem to care about these numbers, but “I hope that we are a room full of people who really, really care.” The four friends from the Gospel overcame the impossible to bring their paralytic friend to Jesus by taking off the roof.

“Maybe today in Washington we’ll take a few roofs off,” he quipped.

Archbishop Carlson also called on teens to help the culture understand that they are far from Jesus when they do not support a culture of life. Through their witness, they can remind others that they, too, are invited to be at the feet of Jesus. He encouraged them to develop a personal relationship with Jesus, through a commitment to daily prayer and the power of the Scriptures.

Citing the words of St. John Paul II, the archbishop noted that we are facing an enormous and dramatic clash between good and evil, as well as between a culture of death and a culture of life.

“Each one of us has the responsibility to do what we can so that in this nation, in our families, in our archdiocese we choose life unconditionally,” he said. ”In your witness today, let us declare our beliefs and express our faith. For those who don’t share the same beliefs, let us pray that the love of Jesus Christ overcomes them so that they become a witness — and perhaps witness with us next year. For we have a message that is true and beautiful and from God.“

Follow Generation Life STL 365 for updates from the March for Life.

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