Saturday, September 8, 2012

Sunday 23B: "have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?" Legalized abortion violates justice

"have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil designs?"

The "legalization" of abortion on demand in 1973 created a false distinction among human beings by declaring a so-called right to murder a human being who just happens to be living temporarily inside the mother's womb. Justice was violated by using the outer periphery of a woman's body to decide that the right to life of some human beings could be denied by the whim of another human being if the victim happens to be found on the wrong side of that periphery: the preborn side.

In order to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness we are reminded "show no partiality as you adhere to the faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ." Yet, in declaring "legal" the killing of the most innocent among us, the child in the womb, are we not doing precisely that?

Cardinal Dolan, in the closing prayer which he offered last week at the DNC in Charlotte, had this to say: "Thus do we praise you for the gift of life. Grant us the courage to defend it, life, without which no other rights are secure. We ask your benediction on those waiting to be born, that they may be welcomed and protected." He went, as an apostle of life, among a people whose ears have in some ways been "stopped", that is, closed to the Gospel of Life.

Can we say that we live a fully human life if we can no longer hear, if we stop our ears, to the pleas for help of the least and the weakest among us? Can we say the we are truly human, that is, responding to the likeness of the God-given divine image in each one of us, if we no longer hear the voice of God who cries out "Choose Life!" Can we say that we truly welcome the least among us, into this world with their God-given gift of life, and thus into our family of faith for the sake of salvation, while life in the womb is unprotected? We cannot.

Every human person is made by God. We belong to God and to His law of love. Any human law which violates God's law is no law at all.

"And immediately the man's ears were opened"

In God's creating action every human being conceived is given life and to end that life is murder. But even more, God's desire is that life, once begun in the womb, should never end so sacred a gift that it is.

God desires that each child be brought into the world in order to meet, know and love Jesus Christ. This happens sacramentally in Baptism when every child hears Christ say to them through the ministry of the priest, "Ephphatha!"-- that is, "Be opened!". This is so that every human being will indeed have their ears truly opened, which cannot happened until the Gospel is preached to them, the beautiful task first of their parents who are the first teachers in the ways of faith. Through the ministry of Christ in the sacramental life of the Church this gift of grace grows and flourishes, accompanying the human person throughout life in this world to prepare them for that most wonderful fullness of life with God in the next.

To hear God speak as the Scriptures are proclaimed in this holy Mass, to see Him truly present in the Eucharist: for this are conceived and born, for this our eyes and ears are opened! No human being should ever be denied these greatest gifts of grace. When we begin to think we have the right to decide who among us should or should not have these gifts in their fullness, we arrogate to ourselves something that belongs only to God; we violate the justice which is the only way that God's love can begin to pierce the hardened hearts, be made heard and visible to those who have closed their eyes and ears by rejecting their neighbor in any way.

Let us all ask that the gift of God's grace in Baptism, for the hearing and believing of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Life and love, be received in its fullness, through our ears truly opened to God in the life of every neighbor, born or unborn. And having heard the plea for justice, may we work to afford every human being every protection in law so that human life may be respected and loved, from the moment of conception until natural death, in all its stages and conditions.

Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

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