Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for justice; they will be satisfied. This beatitude speaks to the heart of the pro-life movement. We seek justice first of all by seeking to be right with God and in all our relationships, and we seek justice by seeking to protect the rights of all, especially the weakest among us, our brothers and sisters in the womb. We are blessed not merely by believing they have a right to life, but by feeling the hunger and thirst, the longing and yearning, that they be protected and that this right be recognized and secured by law.
We also seek justice by working to extend healing and forgiveness to all who have been involved in abortion, that they too will be right with God and know His peace.
Yesterday we observed Mothers’ Day, a reminder to pray for all mothers who are afraid to be mothers. So many are already mothers and are just finding out that they are carrying their child within them. They need our encouragement and support, no matter how unplanned, surprising, or shocking the pregnancy may be to them or to us.
The fact that motherhood begins before the mother realizes it reminds us of Jesus’ words from yesterday’s Gospel: “It was not you who chose Me; it was I who chose you to go forth and bear fruit that will last.” God’s choice always comes before ours. When He chooses that someone is to be a mother, let us respond with joyful support.
Why don’t more pastors speak out against abortion? Some of them actually do not know how to connect the issue with the Scripture readings. They know that the readings are supposed to be the basis of their homilies, but they do not find many references to the unborn child or to the killing of such children.
But the themes of pro-life are on every page of Scripture. Homilies are not simply Scripture lessons. Rather they apply the great Biblical themes to the day-to-day challenges that believers face as they live their lives.
So, for instance, the Bible is clear that only God has dominion over human life – He made it, He cares for it, He owns it. That is why no human being can own or kill or devalue it.
Blessed are the poor in spirit; the kingdom of heaven is theirs. When the Lord speaks about the poor in spirit, He is speaking about those for whom there is no help or hope but God Himself. God is the only hope for any of us, but when we have a lot of possessions, friends, and earthly protection, we are tempted to think that those are the things on which our spirits can ultimately rely. But that is an illusion. “Only in God be at rest, my soul; from Him comes my help and salvation.” Today, nobody is more unsafe and unprotected than the child in the womb. Though father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. The unborn are the poorest of the poor, and God calls us to acknowledge and bless them.
On the morning of Jesus’ resurrection, there was a lot of running taking place. The women, having seen the empty tomb, ran back to the disciples. Peter and John, having heard the women’s story, ran toward the tomb.
And in the end, of course, all the Apostles ran into the world to announce this greatest news of history.
We, too, must run. The victory of life over death is definitive, and yet it is still unfolding. We fight the power of death as we defend human life, especially the unborn. It is time to run, to announce the Gospel of Life with vigor, and to intervene to save the unborn with urgency.
Fear paralyzes and slows people down, but confidence in the victory of the Risen Christ causes us to run and fulfill our mission.
On Easter, many throughout the world are baptized into the Church, and those already baptized renew the vows of their baptism.
By baptism, we are immersed in the new life of Christ, and welcomed into the community of those who believe in the Catholic Faith. Thanks to baptism, God looks at us through the eyes of His Son, and says, ‘You are my child; you died on the cross, therefore you will rise from the dead.’
Baptism is a sacrament of welcome. God chooses us long before we choose, and all the chosen welcome each other. This is the exact opposite of the mindset of abortion, which ignores God’s choice, and says that we can choose not to welcome children into the community.
In Psalm 1:30 we read, “For with the Lord is kindness, and fullness of redemption.” He does not give us only the redemption of some or most aspects of our existence; He gives us the fullness of redemption. He does not only destroy our sins – He destroys our death. He does not only raise up our souls; He raises up our bodies. He does not only restore our relationship with Him; He restores our relationships with everyone else. The Lord gives us fullness of redemption, which means He frees us from all that oppresses the human family. And that is precisely the connection between our faith and our pro-life work. When we labor to end the oppression of children in the womb, we are bearing witness to what the fullness of redemption means.
Catholic schools, of every educational level, face many challenges to maintain their Catholic identity. Ironically, sometimes those challenges come from the members of their own faculty. Sometimes these individuals simply do not believe what the Church teaches or refuse to accept the demands of the moral law.
There’s an old saying, “Nobody can give what he does not have.” Catholic schools exist to impart the Catholic faith and to form strong disciples of Christ. If a faculty member objects to some particular demand of the faith, it makes no sense for them to be in a position in which they are expected to pass it on to our children. For the good of the Church and of the students, they should find another job. Let us pray for strong Catholic schools and faculties.
Please take a moment to check out my Birthday Wish on behalf of the cause Pray to End Abortion.
Our nation is preparing to observe Thanksgiving Day, a holiday that makes it clear that we are not self-sufficient, but rather dependent on the God who gives us both our life and our freedom. We thank Him for both, realizing that there is no gift greater than life itself. One of the best ways we express our gratitude for the gift of life is to defend that gift when it is under attack, or when its value is denied. This Thanksgiving, I will be praying for each of you, and giving thanks for your efforts to defend life. Let us give thanks that we can be part of the greatest civil rights movement of all time, the pro-life movement.
Great tool for planning your pro-life activities: The 2012 Priests for Life calendar is a great way to keep pro-life front and center in your home throughout the year. Click here to order yours today.
Jesus said, “When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. You should be happy that they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” This command to love and serve those who cannot repay us strengthens our resolve to love and serve the unborn children, who are in danger of being killed by abortion. They cannot know right now that we are helping them and speaking up for them. They cannot repay us. These are the ones we should love and serve above all.
Must-have pro-life book: Ending Abortion; Not Just Fighting It is a collection of lifesaving and informative pro-life essays from Fr. Pavone. Click here to order your signed copy today.