Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children

(Hebrews 6:10-20; Mark 2:23-28)

The famous South Rim of Big Bend National Park used to have sections cordoned off so hikers could not pass. The park curators wanted to create sanctuaries so that eagle hens might successfully hatch their offspring. Unfortunately our society does not insist on the same treatment for its human offspring.

Today is the fortieth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s infamous decision to allow abortion on demand. For some inchoate reason the majority decided that a woman’s choice to have or dump her already conceived offspring trumps that baby’s right to life. We can see Jesus in the gospel today as protecting that right against the lesser claim. His defense of his disciples’ picking grain to eat on the Sabbath preserves their right to food against the charge of the Pharisees that absolutely no work should be done on the Sabbath.

The leadership of the Church in the United States has asked all Catholics to pray today for an end to abortion on demand. Of course, such a prayer would be in vain if we do not at the same time nurture an ethic of life. We should refrain from harsh judgment and action. Let us also take care of those in need especially by assisting those women with troubled pregnancies.