Pastor’s Column January 27, 2013
On January 22nd… last Tuesday we will have observed the anniversary of Roe vs. Wade. This was a landmark decision back in 1973, by the Supreme Court here in the United States making abortion legal on demand. Last week has been set aside as a very important moment for all of us to reflect on the Pro-life issues of our day. In the first book of the bible, Genesis, God says “It is not good for man to be alone.” God has made each one of us in his own image and likeness, allowing us to reflect certain attributes of our Creator. Although we are extremely limited by our humanity, we can and do mirror the nature of God through our intelligence, our free will, and especially in our ability to be love.
The reciprocal love between the Father and the Son is so profound and great that a third Person results from it… the Holy Spirit. And by analogy, when a husband and wife are united in love, they are able to produce a third person… a new baby, which is a fruit of their love. The conception of a child is a reflection of the Holy Trinity, of God himself. Remember that Moses, in the Old Testament, saw the hardness of heart of the Jewish people and allowed them to divorce. Jesus tells us that this was not God’s intent from the beginning. Jesus reminds the Scribes and Pharisees of the Father’s original plan, devised since the beginning of creation, which is for the man to leave behind his father and mother, and become one with his wife in a permanent covenant.
Today life is being attacked from every angle… abortion of children of their fundamental right to life… embryonic stem cell research involves destroying living human beings for speculative medical research… legalized assisted suicide and euthanasia arise out of the false view that some lives are not worth living and protecting…and the attempt to redefine marriage is undermining the sacred institution that God established at the very beginning of creation.
No human being has the authority to separate husband and wife, nor to separate the fruitfulness, the procreative aspect from marriage. It seems as though our modern day culture seeks to control and manipulate God’s design… by introducing such things as invitro-fertilization, embryo transfer, and surrogate motherhood…
However, God’s plan remains firm and constant. God’s original plan, made manifest through what we call revelation and tradition, is always simple and straight-forward. But it often times requires self-discipline and sacrifice. Authentic happiness is found only in those who follow God’s design, in those who accept the kingdom of God like children. Christ asks us to trust in the Father as children trust their parents, allowing him to gently guide us by his loving hand.
Remember that “love is a decision.” It is not an emotion… love goes far deeper than emotion. It is an act of the will. Many of Jesus’ disciples will leave him because they feel some other path is more secure. If we can remember in John’s gospel, Jesus loses many after he teaches that He is the “Bread of Life.” He teaches us also that we are called to “Eat His Flesh and Drink His Blood.” God walks beside us as we learn God’s ways.
Saintly people seem to spend more and more time and energy in life-giving ways. Every child is a precious gem of incalculable worth! Accepting a new life into one’s family is an opportunity to embrace Christ… who is the Author of every soul. With their simplicity, openness, and love, children show us the path to salvation, bringing Christ into the world and leading us back to him.
Children, and those who are dependent on us due to disability or age, offer us the opportunity to grow in patience, kindness, and love. They teach us that life is a shared gift, not an encumbrance or an inconvenience. I have heard it said that, at the end of life, we will be judged on love alone, and that love is the only thing we will bring with us into the next world. Meanwhile in the midst of so many challenges to life, we look to Christ Jesus our hope, who offers to all the world, a share in his victory over death.
Peace, Fr. Tom