THE GOSPEL OF LIFE

On January 27, several of us from the parish, and hundreds of thousands of people from across the country, joined the March to Life in Washington, along with other prolife marches nationwide.

The media did give the March for Life more coverage this year than usual, which is not saying much.  However, the media still typically described the March for Life as “antiabortion,” rather than prolife.

At one level, the term simply reflects the media’s bias, describing what they do not agree with in terms of negation.  But it also reflects a superficial understanding of the prolife movement.  Certainly, the Catholic Church, along with most great moral traditions, is against abortion, as physicians are against cancer and police are against murder.  But, as one would not simply describe a doctor as anti-cancer or police as anti-murder, the Church is not only anti-abortion, but broadly a defender of the deeper wisdom which affirms the worth of each human person of all ages and conditions of life.

For the Christian spirit and the Gospel of Life sees each person as a precious gift given to the world by the Almighty God, showing forth His image in a different way, whether in service of others, in giving good example of faith, love, or repentance, in providing us the ability to serve God through those in need, in a countless multitude of different ways.

Likewise, each time of life provides a unique opportunity for the expansion of the human soul, from the first impressions given even in the womb and infancy, through the growth and opportunities of youth, the ability to pursue family and career in middle age, the wisdom of aging, and the contemplation and example of people who have advanced long in the journey.  The materialistic view, by contrast, has a very crabbed vision, seeing people only as sources and consumers of gain and pleasure, things that end in death.

As St. John Paul II wrote in his encyclical The Gospel of Life, the culture of life is based upon an “outlook [that] arises from faith in the God of life who created every individual as a wonder.  It is the outlook of those who see life in its deeper meaning, who grasp its gratuitousness, its beauty and invitation to freedom and responsibility.”  When we, as individuals, a nation and a world, adopt this sacred outlook, we will be able to answer rightly the question that was wrongly asked long ago, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”  Gen. 4:9.