This Friday, hundreds of thousands of people, including many from the Diocese of Camden, will descend on Washington DC for the annual March for Life to stand up for the defense of most vulnerable and voiceless in our society, namely the preborn children who are threatened by the scourge of abortion. One of the things that makes this event unique is that almost half of those attending the March are under the age of 30. What a remarkable testimony that is to the defense of human life, knowing that there are many young people who are willing to brave the sometimes frigid weather conditions to proclaim by their words, actions and presence, the Gospel of Life and the dignity of all people from conception to natural death!
The presence of so many young people standing in defense of life certainly brings hope to so many people, and not just to Catholics. The message of seeing youths and young adults enthusiastic about cause as worthy as defending life shows that there is a longing from them to proclaim the Good News to those who have no hope and that all life is precious, valuable and a beloved gift from the Creator.
Perhaps the enthusiasm and joy of so many of our young pro-lifers is a reflection of the same joy that our seminarians who are in formation for the Sacred Priesthood have in regards to our own vocations. Like the pro-lifers, our seminarians see the longing of people within our society who are seeking hope and consolation from the many empty promises which society constantly bombards them with. Like our young champions of life, our seminarians have a longing to fill the void which many people have in spite of a culture which tells them that joy can only be found in usefulness, wealth or appearances. And like the defenders of the voiceless, our seminarians are zealous to proclaim to all people that they are beloved children of God, who are made in His image and likeness and are loved beyond our comprehension, in spite of the roar of voices which tries to convince them that they have no value or dignity except that which the culture is willing to label them.
Our Blessed Lord said that He is, “the Way, the Truth and the Life.” (Jn. 14:6) He is the one who shows us the way to true happiness. He is the one who gives us the message that gives hope to all people. And He is the one who, through His life, death and resurrection, makes us dare to hope, to proclaim and to strive for holiness in this life so that we may enjoy the rewards of everlasting life in Heaven with Him forever. The task at hand may not be easy, after all, He who had to suffer and die for our salvation never promised that it would be. But it is an encounter with a love so great that makes Christians throughout the world risk hatred and persecution for their faith. It is that glimmer of hope that shines on the value of life that makes people of all ages travel both near and far to the Nation’s Capital to proclaim that all human life is a sacred gift from God. And it is that trust in the Author of Life that draws men to drop all that they have in order to follow and proclaim Him with their very lives and to instruct, sanctify and heal those in need of God’s mercy.
Please pray for the end of the injustice of abortion in our Nation and throughout the world. Pray for the thousands of people who will be marching in Washington and across our country this week in defense of human life. And please pray that many of these courageous young men who will be among the crowds, raising signs calling on all people to respect life, may have the courage to one day raise the chalice of salvation and call upon the Name of the Lord.