Oh God, Creator of the Universe, you show us your great love for all humanity by making us, by giving us life from the breath of your mouth, by calling us back when we go astray, and by redeeming us through the blood of your Son Jesus Christ. Through the incarnation of your Son in the womb of the Virgin Mary, you show us that human life is precious from the very moment of conception. Help us to recognize how much you care for us and for all people. Help us to love ourselves and others as you love us, always ready to show mercy, forgiveness, and unconditional fidelity to willing good for the other no matter their age, status, or situation in life. We ask for your forgiveness for the times we have failed to respect human life. Help us respond to your love and let your grace pour into our daily lives so that we may truly be witnesses to your holy Gospel of Life in our thoughts, words, and actions ever faithful to the teachings of your Holy Church.We ask this through Christ Our Lord, Amen.
Meditation: "The human person is the crowning achievement of God’s creation."
In the book of Genesis 1:26-27, we see God’s delight at the thought of creating us and the dignity with which he makes us when He says,
“ Let us make man in our image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
In these words, we can meditate on the beauty of all God has created in the natural world and how out of all this he chose to create us in his image. It is because of this reality that we respect and love all human life, its mystery and its dignity, from the single cell of the newly-conceived individual in the womb to the oldest person on earth, from the most innocent child to the most hardened criminal. For all human beings are made in God’s image and all have the potential to one day see him face-to face. Let us remember the love and dignity with which he calls us into being and respond to his love by welcoming him into our soul. Scripture tells us in Proverbs 8:31 that God rejoices in his inhabited world and delights most especially in mankind.
The world tells us that our importance depends on our status, our ability to contribute to society, our talents, our intelligence, and even our physical appearance. This is not what God tells us. He tells us that we are of utmost and unchangeable importance to the point that he is willing to die for us in order to make it possible for us to live with him forever.
The whole of scripture and the Christian life tells us this. Let us be mindful of the fact that we live in a world that does not value human life unconditionally, that we live in a world of what Saint Teresa of Calcutta calls the“contraceptive mentality”. This way of thinking and acting is “contra” or against God’s creative and life-giving plan for humanity. It is the ancient sin of the serpent in the garden who told Adam and Eve in Genesis 3:4-5
“You will not die. For God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil.”
It is taking into human hands the authority over life and death that belongs to God alone. We may recall times when we have sinned against human life. Yet, we also recall the words of Christ himself in John chapter 8 verse 11 to the woman caught in adultery, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.” Let us reject the world’s teaching of conditional value and accept into the deepest part of our conscience God’s absolute love for us and for each and every human individual. From this place of safety, security, and joy, let us allow God’s love to flow into our daily lives and into the lives of all those we encounter. Let us remember again the words of Christ in Matthew 25:40,
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.”
To Jesus through Mary- Danielle Rosaria