The month of October brings with it our annual observance of Respect Life Month as we celebrate the value of each human life and commit to helping others grow in appreciation of the treasure that is God’s gift of life. We continue our advocacy in the hope that we will find a way for all in our society to embrace an ethic which values all human life from conception to natural death.
Pope Francis reminds us that one of the evils we confront in our world today is that of abortion. He describes it this way: “the termination of human life in the maternal womb, in the name of safeguarding other rights.” And what are those rights? They always belong to someone else, not the unborn child. The taking of life is senseless and immoral.
We know that the idolatry of individualism represented in the evil of abortion and the taking of human life is resolved in relationship, in knowing that we are created out of love to live in love. We live in a world which has been created out of the love of God. You and I are the height of that creation because we are created in the image and likeness of God. We are distinct persons called to love as we build relationships with each other and share the world in which we live. As we advocate for life, let us see ourselves as doing the work of God so that, as we go about advocating, we can also model to the world the love and mercy that God shows to each of us, even to those with whom we disagree.
I think it appropriate in this Year of St. Joseph, declared by the Holy Father, to remind ourselves to always imitate the courage and care St. Joseph showed while faithfully protecting Jesus and Mary. May we also always be inspired to similarly defend the precious gift of life.
St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!