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“None of us lives as his own master and none of us dies as his own master.” This assertion, and what follows it in today’s Second Reading, speak of the dominion of God over human life. This, of course, is the basis for the Church’s opposition to abortion and euthanasia, and any other kind of violence against human life. The “pro-choice” side chants, “My body, my life, my choice!” and the pro-euthanasia side chants also, “My death!” But this reading declares that Christ is Lord both of the living and the dead. When the Church defends life, she is not only defending the rights of the human person, but is also defending the rights of God himself, and his absolute dominion over human life.
It is that dominion which also is the basis for the mercy and forgiveness of which today’s First Reading, Psalm, and Gospel speak. God is over all, and therefore can have mercy on all. The first act of mercy is creation itself, and therefore, just as we are called to imitate God’s mercy by forgiving our neighbor, so are we called to imitate his mercy by protecting our neighbor’s life.
Moreover, these powerful readings about mercy are a good opening to remind the congregation about the forgiveness the Lord and the Church offer to those who have had abortions, and about our responsibility to welcome such individuals with tenderness and kindness, and never with harshness or judgment.