Today’s Sunday is designated by the Conference of Catholic Bishops in the United States as Respect Life Sunday. All Catholics are invited to pray and reflect on how each of us might renew our commitment and witness to respecting, promoting and teaching the transcendent nature of the human person. Contemporary culture and governments of many countries promote values that are contrary to the true happiness and true good of individuals and society. The unborn child, the aging parent, the person in a coma, the impaired—each today is at risk of being dismissed as a ‘life unworthy of life’…
Last Thursday one of NY’s newspapers had an article about a person who was sentenced to 5 years of prison for cruelty to a cat. Another man who was charged with cruelty to a young boy almost killing him was given only 4 months of prison on weekends! Dogs, cats, dolphins and other animals have more rights than human beings. The facts are scary. The number of unborn children slaughtered in the wombs of their mothers in the last 25 years is 1.25 billion in the world and 37 million in the U.S.A. Embryos are constantly destroyed for scientific experiments. Hundreds of old or terminally ill people are killed in advanced countries, under the names “mercy killing” or euthanasia.
“I came that all might have life and have it to the full” said Jesus. The teaching of the Church is simple: We need to respect and protect all forms of human life from conception to natural death; we need to work and pray vigorously to end the culture of death. We need to speak and act against abortion in private and public forums. Protecting human life is no more a sectarian creed than the Declaration of Independence is a sectarian document. Because all rights depend on life, the right to life is the most fundamental issue of all; if that is eliminated, the rest will follow.
A Sunday school teacher was discussing the Ten Commandments with her five- and six-year olds. After explaining the commandment "Honor thy father and thy mother," she asked, "Is there a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and sisters?” Without missing a beat, one little boy answered, "Thou shall not kill." This is the main message for “Respect for Life Sunday.”
The Bible teaches that life is a gift of God and hence we have to respect it from womb to tomb. Abortion attempts to destroy a work of God. Based on the word of God, the Church teaches that an unborn child from the moment of its conception in its mother’s womb is precious because it carries an immortal soul. In reference to pregnant women, the term "with child" occurs twenty-six times in the Bible. The term "with fetus" never occurs once. The Bible never uses anything less than human terms to describe the unborn (Exodus 21:22-23). In Luke chapter one, verses 36 and 41, we are told that Elisabeth conceived a "son" and that the "babe" leaped in her womb. God does not say that a "fetus" leaped in her womb! Elizabeth greets Mary (in her early pregnancy) as ‘my Lord’s mother.” If God allows a child to be conceived, then God obviously has a plan for for unborn children (Jer. 1:5; Lk. 1:13-17; Gen. 4:25; Jud. 13:3-5), and so to abort an unborn child is to stop a plan of God: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I dedicated you, a prophet to the nations I appointed you.. Psalm 139: 13: You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb. I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! Be Pro-Life.
Pray for Life! Be in unity with God who is Life and gives life!