Summary: The Word of God teaches us the value of every human life, and our responsibility to pray and work politically to share the Gospel of Life.

Monday of 3rd Week in Ordinary Time

Day of Prayer for Legal Protection for the Preborn

Verbum Domini

Today is the Church’s day of prayer for legal protection for those not yet born. As a human being conceived in what was certainly a great family scandal, whose mother was sent nearly two thousand miles from home to have me, I know that had I been conceived after Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Dalton, I would not be standing before you today. In nearly forty years of genocide and violence against the family, upwards of 50 million children have been killed before they drew the breath of life. These were and are our brothers and sisters, and their blood, like that of Abel’s, cries out to God for vengeance. But our God is rich in mercy and slow to anger. Let’s look at today’s Scriptures:

David was the seventh son in his family. Do you think in this culture of death, when Jewish mothers, like everyone else, tend to think three children is a big family, he would have ever been born? Yet he was the greatest of Israel’s kings, and the constantly named ancestor of the Messiah. Jesus tells us that a house–a family–divided against itself cannot endure. How long can the American Church last when we tolerate so-called Catholic political leaders claiming to be “devout Catholics,” and then supporting cruel Administration policies that jeopardize the lives of the most helpless of our fellow humans? The Catholic Church has stood up against the tyranny of the baby-killers ever since a corrupt Supreme Court legalized this horror in 1973, and now, with the current Administration telling us that in one year, Catholic institutions like schools and hospitals have to begin paying for drugs that kill children, I pray we fight that with every breath and dollar we possess.

Jesus’s admonition about blaspheming against the Holy Spirit is quite pertinent to our reading of the Holy Father’s exhortation, Verbum Domini. The Holy Spirit is the active agent in making the Word of God come to be in human flesh and blood. It is true in the womb of the Virgin Mary, and in the heart of the Scripture writer. The sin against the Holy Spirit is, most scholars conclude, the act of attributing God’s works to the Evil one. The Pharisees blasphemed by saying Jesus–the greatest work of God for man--was possessed. I would add that a parallel sin is attributing the acts of Evil to God. There are some pseudo-theologians who claim that, in certain circumstances, artificial birth control and abortion are good acts. They say that the government should pay for contraceptives because they are good for the poor. This is just the Margaret Sanger line from the 1930s, just as false today as it was then, saying that we can help the poor by eliminating them. Our children are our hope–the reason we start families in the first place. How can we help the poor by destroying their children? That diabolical reasoning has done nothing for the poor, and certainly has led to more family breakups, more cohabitation, more child and spousal and elderly abuse. It must be stopped–first of all by prayer and certainly by political action in all political parties. That is not to say that we should trust in princes. Our hope is in God, not in political action. But we must engage with, not flee from, the political process, and do so with the most powerful weapon in our arsenal, the Word of God, the sword of the Holy Spirit.

“In reaffirming the profound connection between the Holy Spirit and the word of God, the Church has also laid the basis for an understanding of the significance and the decisive value of the living Tradition and the sacred Scriptures in the Church. Indeed, since God “so loved the world that he gave his only Son” (Jn 3:16), the divine word, spoken in time, is bestowed and ‘consigned’ to the Church in a definitive way, so that the proclamation of salvation can be communicated effectively in every time and place. . .Jesus Christ himself ‘commanded the Apostles to preach the Gospel – promised beforehand by the prophets, fulfilled in his own person and promulgated by his own lips – to all as the source of all saving truth and moral law, communicating God’s gifts to them. This was faithfully carried out; it was carried out by the Apostles who handed on, by oral preaching, by their example, by their ordinances, what they themselves had received – whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or by coming to know it through the prompting of the Holy Spirit; it was carried out by those Apostles and others associated with them who, under the inspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing.’”

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