Today, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, is Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus, as the Good Shepherd, at Golgotha, freely laid down His life for His sheep…so that we can have access to eternal life. Only by this voice of Jesus, we must recognize and follow.
In this Easter season, we remember how the blood and death of Christ demonstrates the preciousness of humanity to God. Jesus' death gives meaning to the lives of all peoples.
As part of the sheepfold of Christ, we now have access to salvation; we are free from fear. We are called to be ‘shepherds’ to others, especially little children, imitating and radiating the Light of Christ to others.
Back in March 25, 1995, Blessed John Paul II released the encyclical Evangelium Vitae – The Gospel of Life. This document deals with the most fundamental of all principles of humanity – the value and sacredness of our human life. As shepherds and part of the one human race, we are called to protect life…a call that is the heart of the message brought about by Jesus Christ to humanity (EV Para. 1).
For centuries, this life, as we know it, is already threatened by the external forces that threaten the sanctity of the human life - human violence, war, terrorism, human trafficking, poverty, hunger, sexual abuse, crimes, corrupt governments, injustice, barbaric political leaders, selective mainstream media reporting, broken marriages, child abuse, worst of all, abortion…each new day, each new development, each new emerging ‘technology advancement’…quickly brings with it new threats to the sacred human life. Humanity is in such a sad, sad state...the consequence of our own free will...
Correct me if I am wrong, but it is shocking to note that countries like the United States and United Kingdom restrict abortion after the point of fetal viability (whatever that is suppose to mean) and Canada, having removed abortion from the Criminal Code, Australia still having varying degrees of abortion, whereas China and Singapore would allow abortion on request.
In Taiwan, a recent report indicated that 3,000 female babies were aborted from the population due to illegal sex-selective abortion. Many other Asian countries continue to face similar evil due to traditional cultural norms which value males more than females. This is the sad fact of humanity around the world today. Do you know your country’s stand on this crime against the innocent unborn?
Yesterday, a reader (Smiley) was kind enough to remind me of the greatest crime against humanity…the conscious attack of the defenseless….the crime of ABORTION!
Abortion, very simply, is the conscious and intentional termination of a pregnancy. It originates from the Latin word aboriri, meaning “to perish”.
Today, many so-called ‘developed’ and ‘civilized’ countries around the world continue to ‘allow’ or ‘promote’ this insane killing of the precious defenseless unborn child.
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “…at the very time of conception, or fecundation, the embryo begins to live a distinct individual life…the soul of every new human being begins to exist when the cell which generation has provided is ready to receive it as its principle of life. In the normal course of nature the living embryo carries on its work of, self-evolution within the maternal womb, deriving its nourishment from the placenta through the vital cord, till, on reaching maturity, it is by the contraction of the uterus issued to lead its separate life. Abortion is a fatal termination of this process.”
The Roman Catholic Church has always condemned abortion as a grave form of evil. The Bible forbids abortion just as it forbids murder.
Just to illustrate the extreme cruelty of this brutal act…we must become aware of this simple fetal development timeline…
Day 1 - conception takes place.
7 days - tiny human implants in mother’s uterus.
18 days - heart begins to beat.
21 days - pumps own blood through separate closed circulatory system with own blood type.
28 days - eye, ear and respiratory system begin to form.
42 days - brain waves recorded, skeleton complete, reflexes present.
7 weeks - photo of thumb sucking.
8 weeks - all body systems present.
9 weeks - squints, swallows, moves tongue, makes fist.
11 weeks - spontaneous breathing movements, has fingernails, all body systems working.
16 weeks - genital organs clearly differentiated, grasps with hands, swims, kicks, turns, somersaults, (still not felt by the mother.)
18 weeks - vocal cords work – can cry.
20 weeks - has hair on head, weighs one pound, 12 inches long...
The cry of Evangelium Vitae echoes ever so loudly today to remind us that we have been entrusted to defend and promote, love and revere life. There is simply no moment of human life - from the unborn to those nearing death - that should not be protected.
As Christians, we are called to love God and one another - God's law commands us to follow his commandments including the prohibition on killing.
No reasons, however serious and tragic, “can ever justify the deliberate killing of an innocent human being.” (EV Para. 59)
As chosen pilgrim “people of life”, we are continuously called to preach the good news of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Life to the whole of human society.
In this Easter season, Evangelium Vitae seeks to rescue the human race from self-destruction by calling us to our true identity and greatness:
“God has granted to man a dignity which is near to divine. In every child which is born and In every person who lives or dies we see the image of God's glory ... an icon of Jesus Christ” (EV Para. 84).
We continue to pray fervently that the Good Shepherd will bring about a great awakening to the senses and hearts of humanity...and for God's abundant blessings upon the many courageous pilgrims of all ages, who actively continue to ‘March for Life’, standing up in protest against this evil crime of ABORTION.
Please connect to this link, amongst many others, (http://nationalmarch4life.blogspot.com/) to witness and be in solidarity with other pilgrims at the 2011 Pro-Life Rally in Ottawa, Canada.