Dear Parishioners, +JMJ
October is Respect-Life Month. Here is the first paragraph of Pope Saint John Paul II’s encyclical Evangelium vitae (The Gospel of Life):
The Gospel of life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as “good news” to the people of every age and culture.
At the dawn of salvation, it is the Birth of a Child which is proclaimed as joyful news: “I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people; for to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:10-11). The source of this “great joy” is the Birth of the Saviour; but Christmas also reveals the full meaning of every human birth, and the joy which accompanies the Birth of the Messiah is thus seen to be the foundation and fulfilment of joy at every child born into the world (cf. Jn 16:21).
When he presents the heart of his redemptive mission, Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly” (Jn 10:10). In truth, he is referring to that “new” and “eternal” life which consists in communion with the Father, to which every person is freely called in the Son by the power of the Sanctifying Spirit. It is precisely in this “life” that all the aspects and stages of human life achieve their full significance.
So, the Son of God enters into our life by the Incarnation; and by doing so he declares the goodness of human life…. the good news of human life… the gospel of human life. And then in His preaching, Jesus declares his goal to bring about our abundant life. Our life is integral to God’s plan! Our being fully alive on earth, and then fully alive in heaven!
If our Creator treasures human life so much, then so should we treasure human life. Later on in this same encyclical, the Pope explains that at the root of society’s inability to acknowledge the wrong done to human life is a lack of awareness of God Himself. So many have lost the very sense of God Himself. Without the light of God, they cannot recognize any darkness. Those who support abortion do not know the light of Jesus Christ. Jesus, ultimately, is the answer to this grave sin against humanity.
May our lives – our actions and words – help people to encounter God’s presence, to find life in Jesus, and to treasure all human life, which is created in His image and likeness…. especially the life of those most vulnerable in their mother’s womb.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,