Having begun Advent with a Vigil of Prayer for Nascent Life, and inspiring words of Pope Benedict XVI as we wait with the unborn Christ, my thoughts often turn to the plight facing many unborn children today as our society becomes more and more willing to listen to the voices of others to override the innate response we have to protect life at all costs. It is for this, I have on my sidebar this picture of the unborn Christ – He is on His way!
Women are, by their very nature, called to nurture and protect the lives of their children at all costs. Yet, some are willing to go against that instinct and allow others to lie to them that life is not growing in their bodies. And for what? If a mother is not willing to protect the life of her child, what hope is there for our culture – for our future?
What is happening to our society? Some people point the need to reduce the number of births (by means including abortion) to reduce man’s carbon footprint. Others – including heads of state and nations – claim the need to fund abortion under measures entitled ‘women’s reproductive heath’. These point, of course, to taking innocent lives at the words of ‘science’, when at the same time ignore the science that the unborn child is, in fact, a developing human being with his own DNA…the Child is on His Way!
Two bloodbaths of innocents mentioned in the Sacred Scriptures don’t compare to what we as a culture are doing today:
The Book of Exodus, chapter one recounts the slavery of the Hebrews in Egypt, and Pharaoh, afraid of the growing number of the slaves, suppressed them and seeing they were still increasing in number, ordered all Hebrew baby boys to be put to death, throwing them in the river.
The Gospel of Matthew, chapter two retells the story of Joseph rising in the night and taking Jesus and his mother Mary, departing for Egypt by the prompting of an angel. It was revealed to Joseph that the King Herod sought the child because he feared the conquering of his rule. All the boys in Bethlehem and surrounding territories – two years and under – were slaughtered (the Church celebrates their feast day – the Holy Innocents – on December 28th.
Instead of a King Herod killing every child under the age of two because they are a threat to his kingship, we have many calling for the funding of abortion that has killed more than 56 million children since 1973. What makes this crime more gruesome, is that it is often at the request of the child’s own mother.
I came across this Memorial at Our Lady of Perpetual Help (the parish of my childhood), and I think it leaves us a wonderful meditation on the Gift of Christmas – the coming of the Christ Child.
The words on the plaque below the sculpture read:
Thank you for the gift of family.
Embrace all children denied the miracle of life.
Fill us with good health, love and compassion.
Protect all families and give us strength to serve you.
Let us, then, as we anticipate the coming of the King of Kings, pray in anticipation of all unborn children as well, that each will be welcomed into the world as a gift of unmeasurable price.