Life is Precious: As Good Stewards, We Must Respect It!

10-07-2018Weekly Bulletin LetterFr. Robert Seraph Aliunzi, AJ

This month of October is normally Respect Life Month and I would like also to dedicate it to stewardship. So, in this article, I am going to look at Respect Life in terms of stewardship. The little white crosses you see in our courtyard during this time should remind us, as stewards, of the horrors of abortion. In fact, each cross you see represents 3 babies per month lost to abortion in the state of Arizona.

As good stewards, Jesus challenges us to keep our priorities always in proper order by seeking first the kingdom of God and keeping our eyes fixed always on the good things of heaven.

Two great commandments direct us to do just that: The first and greatest commandment is, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Mark 12:30). And the second greatest commandment is, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mark 12:31). It is simply the other side of the coin of the greatest commandment. For if we love God, we will love, honor, and respect God’s creation; the greatest of which is human life, created in His own image at the apex of His creative powers. Understood this way, we must show the greatest respect for the entire created order, and we must be good stewards of the land, the water, the air, and all living creatures. This implies, loving God the Creator means honoring God’s creation.

This month of October, we are reminded as a Church to participate in acts of penance in observance of the 45th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision on Roe vs. Wade, which made abortion legal in the United States. Since then, we continue to ask God’s forgiveness for the violations to the dignity of the human person perpetrated through the horrific acts of abortion.

Respect for human life fulfills the greatest challenge of the commandment, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To that end, we must emphasize what it truly means to respect life:

  • To protect and defend the life of the unborn child from the moment of conception, the moment when that child’s unique genetic code is established, the moment when that child receives from God an immortal soul;
  • To extend pastoral care and God’s mercy and forgiveness to those who have participated in the sin of abortion, assuring them that there is no sin so grievous that the Lord cannot or will not forgive;
  • To cherish the life of a person with a disability, recognizing that within each person one can discern the genius and love of the Creator;
  • To provide palliative and spiritual care to the person who is dying, patiently honoring that person’s dignity through the hour of death, whenever it might come;
  • To defend not only innocent human life, but also that of the guilty. St. John Paul II reminded us that when non-lethal means are available to protect society from a violent criminal, the life of that criminal should be spared as a prophetic witness to the God-given dignity of every human person. If the life of the guilty person is protected by law, then how much more should the life of the innocent person in the womb be held as inviolable?

Our Savior commands us to respect human life from the moment of conception until natural death. This is why our Church will never stop reminding us of our sacred duty to be, in every possible way, unambiguously pro-life. Join me therefore during this month in doing everything possible to foster the respect for life.

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