Wednesday of the Tenth Week in Ordinary Time
(II Corinthians 3:4-11; Matthew 5:17-19)
It is surely a credit to pro-life advocates that they can see in an infinitesimal human embryo a human being. What gives them confidence, of course, is the knowledge that the embryo has all the life-producing information and dynamism to grow into a vivacious person. St. Paul displays this same confidence in the incipient Christian movement when he compares it to the illustrious Jewish faith in the first reading today.
Paul acknowledges the inherent superiority of Christianity to Judaism because of the presence of the Spirit. Although we have to recognize the Spirit’s role in Jewish prophecy, we should see along with Paul its activity in the lives of Christians as the essential difference in their morality. Where Judaism depends on a code of law to keep a people in line, Christianity looks to the grace of the Holy Spirit. Christians also have a written text. Indeed, the Sermon on the Mount incorporating much of Jewish law provides that. But what is quintessential about Christian life is that this law is everywhere activated by the Spirit of love.
We may see this Spirit at work in many pro-life workers. Some stand voluntarily on sidewalks in front of abortion clinics day after day. They are some criticized as yelling at women about to have an abortion, but this kind of behavior is not the rule. Rather, their love shines through as they pray for the fetus about to be annihilated and gently suggest to the mother that there is a more caring way to handle her child.