2 Sm 12:7-10, 13
Gal 2:16, 19-21
Lk 7:36—8:3 or 7:36-50
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“The life I live now is not my own...” This bold declaration in the second reading of today indicates the foundation of the pro-life convictions of the Church: we belong to God. This statement from Galatians 2 parallels that in 1 Corinthians 6:19: “You are not your own.” At issue in the pro-life struggle is not simply the question, “When does life begin?” It is, rather, the question, “To whom does life belong?” The fact that each human life belongs to God is what we mean when we say it is “sacred.” Because each life belongs to God, no other human being may own or kill that life, including his own. This is why David’s act of killing Uriah, referenced in the first reading, was condemned by Nathan as evil.
The awesome calling of parents, moreover, is revealed here, since they are entrusted with the gift of life which does not ultimately belong to them but which, nevertheless, they cooperate with the Creator to bring about.
“I still live my human life, but it is a life of faith…” This assertion of Paul shows us another reason why the defense of life is so fundamental to the Church. As John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae, “Man is called to a fullness of life which far exceeds the dimensions of his earthly existence, because it consists in sharing the very life of God. The loftiness of this supernatural vocation reveals the greatness and the inestimable value of human life even in its temporal phase. Life in time, in fact, is the fundamental condition, the initial stage and an integral part of the entire unified process of human existence” (EV n.2) In other words, we must defend the natural gift of human life, in order that people may, with that foundation secure, take hold of life eternal.
As we proclaim the absolute demands of respect for life, we proclaim the infinite mercy of God even toward those who have taken life. This Sunday’s readings give us an opportunity to renew the Church’s invitation to mothers and fathers alike who have participated in abortion to come to Him for forgiveness and peace.