Archbishop Aquila intends for the march to be a peaceful, merciful and prayerful protest against the actions of Planned Parenthood. There will be no arguing or shouting, only prayerful witness to the love and mercy of God.
In order to understand why Archbishop Aquila is leading this procession as he is, it helps to be familiar with the story of Jericho as laid out in the Book of Joshua.
Joshua became the leader of the Israelites after Moses died and led the pilgrimage to the Promised Land. Jericho was a city that resided in the eastern part of the Promised Land, but God decreed it was not to be a part of his territory, for the city had become one rife of pagans and the worship of false gods.
Jericho was a heavily fortified city with six-inch thick walls that were 26 feet high, perched atop a 46-foot embankment. The destruction of it seemed highly unlikely, but God, as he usually does, had bigger plans.
He commanded Joshua and the Israelites to march around the walls of Jericho once per day for six days, carrying the Ark of the Covenant with them. The Lord was careful to instruct them, “You shall not shout nor let your voice be heard nor let a word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I tell you, ‘Shout!’” (Joshua 6:10). The only sound they were to make was from trumpets of rams’ horn those in the rear of the party would sound as they marched.
Then, on the seventh day, they were to march around the walls seven times, and on the last time around, God commanded them to shout at the top of their lungs, signaling that Jericho now belonged to God and his people. The walls of Jericho crumbled beneath it, and Joshua and his army sacked the city.
Derek Barr, first-year instructor for the Denver Catholic Biblical School, notes that despite the evocation of Jericho in the procession, Archbishop Aquila is leading the charge into a different kind of battle than that of Joshua.
“Our battle today is laid out for us by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6:12,” Barr said. “He tells us that we are not to fight against flesh and blood, but our battle is a spiritual battle against demons, those who bring death, injury and deception to humans via spiritual means.
“[Archbishop Aquila] is doing for our Captain Jesus as the Levitical High Priest did for his Captain Joshua in leading us in o a prayerful action that will bring down the spiritual walls of the sin of abortion which is bringing death, injury and suffering to millions of women, men, girls and boys,” he said. “Jericho was the first of many battles that led to the Children of Israel possessing the Promised Land, and this is one of many battles that will lead to the defeat of the spiritual forces behind abortion.”
For more information and to RSVP for the March 5 Eucharistic Procession around Planned Parenthood, visit archden.org/march5.
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