“I came so that all might have life and have it to the full” John 10:10
In a society and world where life is increasingly disrespected, it is important that we remind ourselves that Jesus came not only to give us eternal life but life in this world. Our duty to respect life is constant and never ending, but once each year for forty years the Church in America has set aside October as Respect Life Month to emphasize to us and to others Jesus’ new Commandment of unselfish love.
From conception to old age many regard human life not as God’s greatest gift, but as inconvenient and a burden.
The cruelty of killing millions of babies because of the inconvenience of pregnancy and parenthood, the neglect and shuffling aside of the aging because they have become a burden, the cheering of an audience over the high number of executions, the callous unconcern of some politicians for anyone who is weak, defenseless or in need of help are all too familiar examples of disrespect for life.
Jesus used the powerful parable of the Good Samaritan to illustrate that the neighbor we should help is not only the one whom we know or the one whom we love, but the one who is in need. Who knows why the priest and the Levite passed by the man beaten by robbers on the Road to Jericho? Were they too busy? Did they not want to get involved? They had their reasons to pass by, to look the other way, but the hated Samaritan, upon whom the Jewish people looked in disdain, stopped to minister to the victim and provide for his care.
Like the priest and the Levite, we have our reasons for passing by the unborn child, the aging person, the prisoner, the beggar. They are known but to us and to God.
Unselfish and unconditional love is often inconvenient, expensive or politically incorrect but it is what we as Christians are called to.
“We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ but hates his brother, he is a liar; for whoever does not love a brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. This is the commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. “ 1 John 4:19-21
Let us commit ourselves to make “Respect Life” more than a catch phrase in our lives, not just for one month a year, but at all times and at all places and for all people.
This post is also available in/Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish