We do not consider the battle over abortion or “reproductive rights” as theological issues. We tend, quite understandably, to group these issues in the “moral realm” while reserving more conventional doctrinal disputes to the purview of theology.
But this is a mistake.
The battle over abortion is ultimately a theological question. It is a battle over the very identity of the human being; namely, whether it has intrinsic and immutable dignity or, as our opponents maintain, it can be subject to manipulation and destruction. There exists a stark and radical opposition, therefore, between both sides of this question. Either the human being is an end in itself, everywhere and at everytime or it is merely a means to someone else’s end. Either a human being is therefore a person to be respected for who they are or it is just another animal to be used as a tool to satisfy one’s own needs and desires.
In times past, the Church had to defend the true identity of Jesus Christ as truly God and truly Man. Today, She must rise to defend the image of the Creator in us. Genesis tells us that we are created in the image of God:
“Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” (Genesis 1:26)
The attack on the human person which began in the latter half of the twentieth century, therefore, is ultimately an attack on God Himself as the Enemy seeks to destroy and eradicate His image in creation.
Every age in the Church has a defining moment. And in every age, there is an overriding question which defines us as followers of Christ.
To be sure, the Gospel cannot be reduced to merely one issue or even a collection of issues. And yet, there are questions that are posed throughout the centuries which must be answered in a certain way for us to be considered the Master’s disciples. As St. James says, “For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it” (James 2:10). Indeed, every age has questions that are not at issue within the Christian community. In the fourth and fifth centuries, abortion was universally denounced in the Church, but the identity of Mary as theotokos divided those who were truly Christian and those who were not. Today, pro-abort “Catholics” might have no problem conceding (at least superficially) that Mary was the Mother of God, but they cannot bring themselves to submit to the Church’s teaching on the absolute prohibition on direct abortion or contraception. So you see, every age has a sword that cuts. In every age, there are challenges to Christians to prove their loyalty and obedience to Christ and His Church.
And what of this proof? What will God demand of us when He asks us that central question of our time? How will we respond? And what question will He ask us?
For this age that we are living in, He will ask us this question: “What did you do for the least of my brothers and sisters?”
The “least” in our age are the unborn children. They are the smallest of human beings, the most defenseless, the most innocent, and the most vulnerable to murder.
Friend, what have you done for the “least of these”?
Have you spoken up when you had the chance? Or have you been silent because you regard man’s opinion more than you do the Lord’s?
Have you donated anything substantial for their aid? Or have your sacrificial gifts been largely token?
What about your time and talents? How generous have you been with them at the service of the “least of these”?
Did the homilies at Mass go in one ear and out the other when the priest asked you to show up and witness publicly on an occasional Sunday to claim Christ’s little ones as your little brothers and sisters? Did you rise to the challenge or did you rely on some petty excuse for not participating?
Did you vote for the unborn, remembering Christ’s ardent love for the least of these, or did you vote with the mob who preferred Barabas to the Christ?
Do not be deceived, dear brethren, as Cain was when he scoffed at God and answered Him, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Indeed you are.
And do not be deceived, dear brethren, that God will understand why you couldn’t commit to the Gospel of Life. Pay attention to what He tells us in his Holy Gospel:
“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ ” ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13)
The March for Life is this coming Thursday May 14 at Parliament Hill.
If you have not fulfilled your Christian duty to witness to the unborn, I invite you to take this opportunity to do so. Opportunities don’t always come next year. Sometimes we need to seize the day to prove our fidelity. Sometimes tomorrow never comes.
Don’t assume, as the foolish virgins did, that God will accept your intentions.
Intentions don’t count. And they don’t save lives.