Proclaiming a Gospel of Life!
As we find ourselves in January, probably most of us are recuperating from a busy Christmas season filled with a lot of celebration and visits with family. It truly is a great time to become more aware of the gifts God has given us. Among the greatest of those gifts is the gift of human life, as it forms the basic and most fundamental basis for the rest of the gifts God has given to us. Without the gift of life, all the other gifts of family, friendship, education, faith, etc, are all impossible! During the month of January, the Church celebrates this Respect Life Month to be thankful for this gift.
Even as we celebrate that gift of life, we are keenly aware of the tragedy of so many lives lost to abortion in the United States and throughout the world. In 2014, 926,190 abortions took place in the United States, and approximately 19% of all pregnancies in the United States ended in abortion. It is easy to simply speak of statistics and numbers, but we have to remember that at the heart of these numbers are human lives. It’s a very sad statement of the distance between our culture and the Culture of Life that we as Catholics strive to build.
Condemning the practice of abortion in the United States is an important and necessary step, but building the Culture of Life requires more of us than that. It means working against those circumstances that might cause a woman to consider having an abortion. It means offering loving support for expectant mothers during their pregnancies and after they have brought their child into the world. It means extending compassion, mercy, and healing to women and men who have chosen abortion and are now suffering from the damage it has done to their lives.
During this Respect Life month of January, I would invite you to reflect on how you might build a Culture of Life at St. Michael the Archangel and in our Shrewsbury community. Perhaps you might consider volunteering for a pregnancy resource center like BirthRight, writing a letter to your local and national officials encouraging them to support Pro-Life legislation, or donating to support the efforts of our Parish Respect Life Committee. Most importantly, please pray for a respect for the dignity of human life daily, personally and with your family.
Pope St. John Paul II wrote in Evangelium Vitae, “The Gospel of Life is at the heart of Jesus’ message. Lovingly received day after day by the Church, it is to be preached with dauntless fidelity as ‘good news’ to the people of every age and culture.” Let us continue to strive to build a culture that values the dignity of each human life – those children threatened by abortion, but also the poor, the critically ill, the depressed, the immigrant, and the prisoner. Let us strive to proclaim that Gospel of Life each and every day! God bless you and your families!