October 4 – Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
Every year, the Bishops of the United States designate the month of October as “Respect Life Month.” The theme this year is “Live the Gospel of Life.”
Respect for the dignity of the human person demands a commitment to human rights across a broad spectrum: “Both as Americans and as followers of Christ, American Catholics must be committed to the defense of life in all its stages and in every condition.” The culture of death extends beyond our shores: famine and starvation, denial of health care and development around the world, the deadly violence of armed conflict and the scandalous arms trade that spawns such conflict. Our nation is witness to domestic violence, the spread of drugs, sexual activity that poses a threat to lives, and a reckless tampering with the world’s ecological balance. Respect for human life calls us to defend life from these and other threats. It calls us as well to enhance the conditions of human living by helping to provide food, shelter and meaningful employment, beginning with those who are most in need. We live the Gospel of Life when we live in solidarity with the poor of the world, standing up for their lives and dignity. Yet abortion and euthanasia have become preeminent threats to human dignity because they directly attack life itself, the most fundamental human good.
It need not be so. God, the Father of all nations, has blessed the American people with a tremendous reservoir of goodness. He has also graced our founders with the wisdom to establish political structures enabling all citizens to participate in promoting the inalienable rights of all. As Americans, as Catholics and as pastors of our people, we write therefore today to call our fellow citizens back to our country’s founding principles, and most especially to renew our national respect for the rights of those who are unborn, weak, disabled and terminally ill. Real freedom rests on the inviolability of every person as a child of God. The inherent value of human life, at every stage and in every circumstance, is not a sectarian issue any more than the Declaration of Independence is a sectarian creed. As Catholic Christians we must value and defend human life above all other values!
Have a Blessed Week!