Respect Life homily

Yesterday I was blessed to able to ride a bus to Washington, DC for the 45th annual March for Life. This march is of course to bring awareness to the need to overturn a court decision that allows for abortion at any time. It has taken place every year since Roe v. Wade in 1973 and it is barely covered in the news even though thousands and thousands of people converge on DC. Since this court decision we have experienced in our country the deaths of over 60 million young children in the wombs of their mothers. Sixty million–that is a lot of lives snuffed out, but that’s also a lot of broken hearts–the people who were led into this deception of an “easy solution”. Fathers and mothers who were led to believe their child was simply a clump of tissue. Workers in the industry who believed, or still believe, that this is somehow helpful. The theme for this year’s march was “love saves lives”. This is true, but more accurately, the love of CHRIST saves our lives! His death on the cross bore the penalty of our sins, and we are able to be washed by the precious blood of Christ through the Sacraments: Baptism, Confession, and the Eucharist.

Now if somehow you think abortion is ok, I challenge you to get online and look up silentnomore to hear the painful testimonies of women who have experienced abortion. Or to look up And Then There Were None to hear the former director of a Planned Parenthood who describes the horrifying way that business deals with human life: the more abortions, the better. We don’t need groups like Planned Parenthood.

Our Lord in the Gospel calls us first to repentance: to have a conversion of heart, and this applies to all of us. We are continually and always in need of a deeper conversion. This is why we must be praying everyday and remaining close to our Lord in the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist and Confession. If you and I wish to change hearts, if we wish to make abortion a thing of the past, we ourselves must first be conquered by the Heart of Christ.

Our Lord then calls the Apostles–the first bishops, to be fishers of men. Certainly we should apply this to priestly vocations–if there are any young men here who are wondering what to do in life–ask our Lord. He might be calling you to be a fisher of men as one of His priests–to offer the Mass, to absolve sin and to restore supernatural life to souls who have fallen away. What a great and noble vocation! Yet, this call to be a fisher–to go out with great zeal for souls–is a call to each one of us. We must work to bring about a new respect for life, and this begins right now. We have to pray for, and give real assistance to those who are vulnerable to abortion providers. We have to show them that they are loved, and that the life inside of them is sacred, no matter what the doctors say. Parents of children with the greatest deformities often say their children teach them more about love and life than anybody or anything else. Wouldn’t you say we need a few more witnesses to the true love of God in our world?

We have to pray for and show great mercy and respect for mothers and fathers who fell for the trap and the lies of abortion. Help them to experience the healing forgiveness of Christ in confession. If they aren’t even christian, help to show them the peace and joy that Christ brings. The more we grow in our awareness of God’s mercy toward us in forgiving us in confession, the more able we will be able to bring this mercy to others. These mothers and fathers suffer greatly, and it is up to us to help bring them to Christ, to be with them in their pain, to love them, and to lift them to the love of Christ who saves us. This takes great patience of course. Encourage them to think of going on a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, and to spend time with our Blessed Mother in prayer, and to come before the tabernacle to bring their broken heart to our Lord.

We have to pray for those who support abortion and even perform abortion. Nobody grows up wanting to perform abortions. We have to help such people with our prayers and love, helping to bring them out of that darkness. That is why groups such as And Then There Were None are very helpful–they provide retreats for healing and also practical assistance to find new jobs outside of the abortion industry.

There is a real spiritual battle here. The devil wants nothing more than to destroy our lives and for us to treat human life as simply a commodity, not a sacred gift from God. Abortion is a total mockery–here the mantra “this is your body given up for me” is used. This is totally opposite of our Lord’s sacrificial love on the cross, and in His words in remaining with us in the Eucharist: “this is my body, given up for you”. This is why if we wish to win this battle against abortion and also euthanasia, we must allow the Lord to conquer our hearts. We must spend time in the presence of the Eucharist if we wish to win. We must implore Him to bring about real conversion, real healing, and to help us truly to be fishers of men.

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