1 Cor 15:12, 16-20
Lk 6:17, 20-26
Abortion is not only a sin against life; it is a sin against hope. We trust our own (or others’) evaluation of the problems in our lives and in the world, and decide that the world is too inhospitable for a child to be welcomed into it. The first reading, therefore, with its exhortation to hope in the Lord, speaks right to the heart of the culture of life. The pro-life movement is focused on inspiring the hope that brings the courage to say yes to life.
This hope is based ultimately in what the second reading identifies as the foundation of our faith: Christ is indeed raised from the dead. The evils we fight, like abortion, are ultimately defeated already at their root, because the kingdom of death has already been overturned.
These truths of the first and second readings provide the basis for the beatitudes, each of which can be applied to the pro-life witness of the Church:
“Blessed are you poor.” Biblically, the “poor” are those who have no help but God. The “poor” are not simply the materially disadvantaged, but rather those who are marginalized by society. The children living in the womb are truly the poorest of the poor, and the Church’s preferential option for the poor requires that we give them priority attention. These children are the only group of people in our society whose very right to life is formally and explicitly denied by public policy.
“Blessed are you who are now hungry.” We are hungry for justice to be established; the unborn are hungry for their most basic rights to be recognized.
“Blessed are you who weep.” If we are to be builders of the culture of life, we must first learn to weep over the culture of death. The evil of abortion must break our hearts. Only then are our hearts opened to receive the grace and strength to witness and battle against this evil.
“Blessed are you when people hate you.” Defenders of the unborn are hated by many in the world today, who see them as a threat to human rights, as enemies of women’s rights and health, as opponents of freedom itself. Few movements can give one as direct an experience of this particular beatitude than the pro-life movement – which is precisely why it is a blessing to be involved in it.