2 nd Sunday in Ordinary Time 18 January 2009
Today is designated as Respect Life Sunday. This coming Thursday is the anniversary of the landmark controversial court decision Roe vs. Wade. This is a very difficult topic, but one that must be discussed.
The issue of Abortion causes us to reflect on the meaning of love and life. It brings up questions about who we are as human beings. Does the meaning of human life come from us or is it a truth that is already there, given to us by God that we are meant to discover?
The word LOVE is the most misused word in the English language. It can be used to express our preference for things such as chocolate over vanilla ice cream, our commitment to our families, our affection toward our friends. It is often used to express sentiments that are quite the opposite of what love truly is. How are we to recover the true meaning of LOVE? Jesus, Himself, gives us the true meaning: “Greater love has no one than to lay down one's life for one's friend”. St. John in his Gospel shows how God the Father demonstrates the true meaning of LOVE: “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son.” (John 3:16). Who of us would relinquish our only child? But God did. Jesus died so that we may live. “I sacrifice myself so that the other may live”. This is what Christ shows us as He hung on the cross. This is what married couples say to one another. This is what parents say to their children.
Yet Abortion says just the opposite of love. It says, “I sacrifice the other for my own convenience.” In fact, the same word that Our Lord used to bring all of creation to salvation are used by those who defend abortion. THIS IS MY BODY. Jesus uses these words and adds, “given up for you.” His entire life and mission is to sacrifice Himself so that we may share in Eternal Life. THIS IS MY BODY. These words are also used by those who promote abortion by saying, “I can do what I see fit with my own body.” Yet they have forgotten why they – and we all – were given our bodies and our lives to begin with: so that we may freely choose to give ourselves away out of love.
This calling is given to us by God Himself. How do we know this? Because it has been hard-wired into our souls. Here is an example of this. This example also shows that the effects of abortion are very real.
I had an abortion December 19, 2002 when I was 19 years old. I was afraid of telling my parents and so was my boyfriend (now husband). The decision was rushed and not well thought out. Immediately after the abortion I felt relief but quickly went into denial, which last for five years. My husband and I got married in October 2005 and I became pregnant with my daughter April 2007. Emotions about my abortion didn't appear until after the birth of my daughter in January 2008. Reality hit me like a ton of bricks. I saw what my baby that I aborted could have been.
As time passed I became more depressed. I put on a mask in front of everyone else. They continued to see me as the happy and positive person I usually was but inside I was sad and full of guilt. Finally one day I hit my worse. I spent the whole day with a heaviness on me and I couldn't stop crying. I was tired of feeling so lousy so that evening I turned to God. Even though I was a Christian my whole life I never turned to Him during my abortion or after for comfort but that day I did. I asked God that night before bed to take all the bad feelings and thoughts I had been having away from me-I didn't want them anymore. I told God that I would go to counseling and seek help. I told Him I loved Him no matter what. The very next day I was a new person. The heaviness that I had felt was gone and I felt more like the person I used to be. I thanked God for His grace and goodness. I went to counseling at my local women's center and found further healing.
Today I have been completely healed by God and through counseling. The bibles study we did was called Forgiven & Set Free. It was an excellent bible study. Through it and my counselor I drew closer to God and my attitudes have changed. I am now more Christ-like than at any point in my life. I believe God will use my experience for good and I am willing.
(This example comes from www.abortionchangesyou.com, where more examples can be found.)
Our Church, Our God is not only desperate to end this tragedy of abortion, but Our Church and our God also are desperate to help those in desperate situations: Those in crisis pregnancies, and those suffering from the effects of abortion.
Don't be afraid to reach out if you're hurting. Don't be afraid to reach out to those who are hurting. Remember: God loves you and His Church does too.
(Many thanks to www.priestsforlife.org for homily resources on pro-life preaching)