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Today’s readings provide a powerful foundation for preaching on the call of God’s people to be the People of Life and to take concrete action to defend the lives of the unborn.
As Moses said, the law of God “is not too mysterious and remote.” Often people complicate the Church’s pro-life teaching unnecessarily. In reality, it is simple. We are called to love people, not kill them. “Love your neighbor as yourself,” as the Gospel indicates. It seems that the scholar of the law thought the teachings were “too mysterious and remote.”
But they are not. “Love your neighbor” does not have distinctions, limitations, or exclusions. It includes our unborn neighbors. And to love them “as yourself” means first to recognize them as a person like yourself. The “pro-choice” mindset is, ultimately, just another form of prejudice, this time directed at the people still in the womb.
Both the first reading, with the exhortation, “You have only to carry out,” and the Gospel passage, with its concluding command, “Go and do likewise,” call us beyond being pro-life in attitude to becoming pro-life in behavior. It is not enough for us to “believe” abortion is wrong; we have to intervene for those in danger of being aborted. The man who fell in with robbers, and in danger of losing his life, is also the unborn child. Many pass along the way and do nothing. They let them die. The priest and Levite knew the words of Moses in today’s first reading. They failed, however, to carry out those words.
The reason may be that they were afraid that this was a trap. Maybe the robbers were around the next curve of this road from Jerusalem to Jericho, which had come to be know as “The Bloody Pass,” and were ready to attack anyone who would stop to help the victim. The mistake that the priest and Levite made was that they asked, “If I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?” The Samaritan reversed the question, as we are called to do, and asked, “If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?” And so we must ask in regard to the unborn. Stop counting the cost and calculating the risk to yourself; start thinking about the risk to them.
All of our pro-life activity flows from our union with Christ. The second reading today is actually a commentary on the first few words of the Bible, “In the beginning, God created…” Paul shows us that this “beginning” is Christ. He is the source and purpose of all life, of all creation. To stand with him, then, is to stand with life, and against all that destroys it.