Four years ago I had an opportunity to participate in the March for Life in Washington, DC. I was moved by the way people from different parts of the country gathered to march in respect for life. In the midst of a brutal January winter, young, old, men and women of all religions marched and prayed for life to be respected from conception to natural death. Together, they prayed and held banners calling to end abortion. It is a subject that attracts religious and political views to the extent of bringing a conflict. As Catholics, we are motivated by our faith and the teaching of our church to honor and respect life with no compromise. God is the author of life and as human beings we are called to honor and respect it.
This year the 39th anniversary of Roe v Wade will be next weekend and the march will be held on Monday January 23 in Washington, DC. On that day I would like to lead a Holy Hour here at the Church to pray for our nation and pray for our leaders to enact laws that respect human life. Those who are able to come, please join me for one hour of adoration from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Pope John Paul II has great quotes on the value of human life. He once said, “The promotion of the culture of life should be the highest priority in our societies…If the right to life is not defended decisively as a condition for all other rights of the person, all other references to human rights remain deceitful and illusory.” This becomes true when the Grace of God illumines our understanding of the sacredness of human life from conception to natural death. The unborn child has a right to live. In promotion of life we encounter a lot of challenges. There are different forces in our society that persuade us in different directions. We are called to live a moral life in a society, which is immoral; we are called to embrace life in a society which promotes death; and we are called to embrace joy in a society which embraces hatred. However, with the help of God, we can remain strong and chose life over death.
The call to be pro-life is very important in our faith for we are created in the image of God. Out of His love, God created man and woman. It is this love that calls us to be prolife. The account of creation in the book of Genesis 1:26-31; 2:4-25 tells us that God created man and woman in his own image. He is the source of life. Love always overflows into life and parents cooperate in the creating power of God. “Truly children are a gift from the Lord; the fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3). There is joy when new life comes forth, interrupting it in any way is sinful. Prophet Amos condemned the Ammonites because they ripped open expectant mothers in Gilead. (Amos 1:13). God who loves us, calls us to love His creation.
Sometimes we are caught up in a debate about whether the infant is truly a human being. The debate might lead us to different opinions but one thing we know that the child in the womb is truly a human being, who even has a relationship with the Lord. God knows the preborn child. “You knit me in my mother’s womb . . . nor was my frame unknown to you when I was made in secret” (Psalm 139:13,15). God also helps and calls the preborn child. “You have been my guide since I was first formed . . . from my mother’s womb you are my God” (Psalm 22:10-11). “God… from my mother’s womb had set me apart and called me through his grace” (St. Paul to the Galatians 1:15). Indeed the baby in the womb is the God’s creation and is loved by God.
The message of Christ the Messiah reminds us that He came so that we may have life, life in full. Abortion is death and Jesus came to conquer death. As Catholics, let us embrace our Catholic faith to be prolife. Let us preach the gospel of life to the young ones. Let us not be deterred by the political debate. Let’s stand for life, as Pope John Paul II said, “Never tire of firmly speaking out in defense of life from its conception and do not be deterred from the commitment to defend the dignity of every human person with courageous determination. Christ is with you: be not afraid!”
When it comes to making a choice; LIFE WINS!
Fr. Fil Ngwila