Respect Life Sunday
The first Sunday of October is designated as Respect Life Sunday and today we are reminded to uphold the dignity of all life. In the first reading the prophet Habakkuk prays to the Lord saying: “I cry out to you, ‘Violence!’ but you do not intervene.” Sometimes this appears to be the situation. With all the violence and death in the world it appears as if God isn’t responding to our prayers. However, God responds to every prayer. One of the most powerful ways God responds is through us. St. Paul writes in the second reading that “God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control.” We Catholics stand for life and when life issues arise our Church is often the only voice courageous enough to speak out. We must be courageous in the face of abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia and assisted suicide. We must not give in to the values of the world but uphold the values of God. We must cry out against violence to all forms of human life and work toward enhancing all human dignity.
A little over a week ago, I went to a Lauren Daigle concert at the Greek theater. It was an amazing event as many very prayerful songs led the crowd into a place of praise and worship. This Christian singer has these lyrics in her song You Say: “You say I am loved when I can’t feel a thing. You say I am strong when I think I am weak. And you say I am held when I am falling short. And when I don’t belong, oh You say I am Yours. And I believe.” Although we may fall short in respecting life, it begins with God loving us and holding us. Because we belong to God, we are challenged to be life giving. In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says: “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life.” Choose the way of Jesus, the way of love and life. And may we all feel the wonderful embrace of our God (“you say I am held”). Peace.