23rd Sun. B : Sept. 10, 2000
"The Partiality Problem"
I would imagine the holiday of Thanksgiving has a lot of pleasant memories for most of you. We can probably all agree that there is always a great deal of food and that great meal always climaxes with a pie or two. In fact, if you have a family like mine, both grandmothers make a pie, not to mention momma always has one too. So what do you do when offered a piece of their pies? Why not do what I do, have a little of both, showing no partiality (Of course there is always a little room for momma’s too!).
St. James was certainly not speaking of showing no partiality towards who’s pie to eat. However, he was addressing the issue of no partiality towards the poor and the rich. Why? The simple fact, that in Christ Jesus, there is no partiality. Both rich and poor are made in the image and likeness of God and as such are created equal in their dignity. They are equal in the eyes of their Creator. That is why St. James was reminding the early Christians that there is to be no favoritism or partiality among them.
Today, we have a partiality problem of our own. Perhaps not so much with the poor and rich, but we have a problem in another area. It has been the hot topic in the papers, on TV, in political debates, etc... My brothers and sisters, abortion is our partiality problem. God has made both the baby in the womb and the mother in His image and likeness and as such they are created equal in the eyes of God. However, we hear in our day, a "woman has the right to choose." You know what we are to say to people who claim that as a right? Choose what? We need to finish the sentence for them. I had a mother approach me last week after I preached another pro life homily. She said that her 4 year old child said to her after Mass... "mommy, babies grow in the tummy." Out of the mouths of babes!!! If a 4 year old can understand this basic truth then we as adults should be able to grasp it as well. I am all for choice. In fact, God made us with a free will so that we can choose what we want. I love to make a choice between what type of pasta I will eat. However, if my choice will hurt or even kill another innocent human being, than that choice is wrong. We must love both the child and the mother. We are pro woman and pro child!
You may also hear some people crying out for exceptions. Perhaps you heard some say... "What about the health of the mother?" Let me first say that the Church teaches that we try to save them both. She never places one life over another. She says save them both but we can never directly take the life of one to save the other. Furthermore, we live in an age when modern technology is so great that this case is practically non existent. They have procedures where they can operate on the child in the womb now. Don’t take just my word on this, here is what the former surgeon general, C-Everett Koop, has said about the situation of the ‘life of the mother" in regards to the necessity of partial birth abortion. "Partial - birth abortion is never medically necessary to protect the mother’s health or her further fertility. In fact, the procedure can significantly threaten the mother’s health or ability to carry future children to term." He acknowledges that there is no case in which the health of the mother would warrant the need for a partial birth abortion. If you don’t take my word or even his, here’s what Kate Michelman, head of NARAL (National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League) says in last weeks Providence Journal. "Most women have abortions because they want to be successful mothers." She was speaking of her own abortion she had in 1970 after he husband left her with three children. She said the abortion was necessary for her "family’s survival." So even the head of one of the biggest abortion supporters acknowledges that "health of the mother" is not why most women have abortions. If a woman’s health was in danger in the last three months when the child is viable, then why not deliver the child C- section? The bottom line is that abortion hurts the mother as well as the child. No partiality! We love both the child and the mother.
Why are we so concerned about showing no partiality and loving both the children and the women? We love them both because Our Lord and Savior hung upon a Cross and died for us ALL! He showed no partiality and died out of love for all of humanity. In fact, he died so that sins may be forgiven. Here, there is also no partiality. ANY SIN committed and confessed in the sacrament of confession can be absolved if the penitent is repentant. No partiality! He loves babies in the womb, mothers, fathers, poor, rich, etc.... Jesus has no partiality and died so that we may all have life. May we go forth and love everyone as Jesus loves, with an unconditional, total, and universal love. God Bless you all.