As I write these words, more than 47,669 babies have been directly killed today. Since I loaded the web page which has the abortion counter some minutes ago, more than 5,251 unborn children have been killed, and this year, more than 16,425,995 unborn children have been killed. Many countries and states continue to legalize abortions and Physician assisted suicide has continued to be on the increase as well.
The situation is worrisome and is even more so as people who are being charged with the nobility of preventing disease and in effect engendering life, have turned around to be harbingers of death. As Christians, what are we to do? What camp are we to join? I am indeed aware of the many arguments for both sides from many corners, but what I want to do is to listen to Our Lord himself, the Eternal Word, our own master, and teacher, to find out what exactly, we, the people of His way, should believe and do about these issues.
‘In Him was Life…’ (John 1:4). The very character unique, for John, about the person of the God-Man is that of life, and he tells his story of his life so that believing in him, we might come to have that which is in him- Life. He himself gives testimony to this, ‘But these are written, that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God: and that believing, you may have life in his name (John 20:31). As Christians therefore, our very lives, and the very work of our hands, in the people we meet and work for, should be one that is precisely Christ-like with regard to life. This is especially true for us Christians who are in the field of work that concerns life. Being Christ to others in the medical profession is in essence being a medical practitioner in whom Life is found because Christ lives in him. That as people crawl into the very doors of the hospital seeking life, we may not bring to them a message of death, but one of life that is abundant (cf. John10:10). Being harbingers of life also entails having a particularly unique value for human life, which God has entrusted to our care, in spite of all physical inadequacies. Every human person is created in the image and likeness of our Father God, and God loves each person in a unique way. Our Lord not only desired that we have eternal life, but was also drawn with compassion to human life, this was why he healed the sick, and raised the dead (cf. Luke 7). His work of healing and desire to give life is therefore intricately connected with our vocation and profession in the healthcare field. This should be at the very foundations of our mission to, as Jesus did, cater for human life- spirit, soul and body. It should also be noted that nowhere in the Bible was Christ reported to have sent people to their graves for any reason, no matter how disastrous their illnesses were, he instead brought people back from the dead, a sharp contrast to the so called ‘physician assisted suicide’ or euthanasia..
‘Thou shall not kill’ (Exodus 20:13). The Ten Commandments were given to the people of Israel as precautions to ensure that they do not veer off the path of love and hence the path of God, in whom is love personified. They were laws of love. It was out of love that God gave us the law and it is in response to that love that we obey his laws. This is why Jesus says, ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’ (cf. John 14:15). He himself even summarized all the commandments to mean love, it is the greatest of the commandments, all God demands of us (Matthew 22:36-40). If we truly loved, we would not do anything that goes contrary to the commandments of God; the natural law of morality that is written in the hearts of all men irrespective of religion. Who does not know that it is wrong and totally not in the place of love to kill? However, it is remarkable to note that people now, far from killing people in abortions and euthanasia in defiance to the law of God- of love, now even use love as an excuse for doing these. In essence they are saying ‘Love is God’ instead of ‘God is Love’ (1 John 4:8), and what is the danger? The danger is in reducing the concept of love to human love as we know it alone and ‘deifying’ it, bringing it within the realms of human decision, and thereby dominating it, such that far from what God thinks, people now consider only what they think of love. This is part of the culture which makes Man the centre of the universe. This is a disservice to love, for each man becomes the center of his world. A woman who was raped and becomes pregnant considers no more the life of the Child in her womb but her very self, she is the center, and whatever happens to her life-her fame, her dignity etc.; those are worth more than the life in her womb and so she ends his/her life. This is not the Love that Christ teaches. This radically egocentric perspective has as its consequence the fact that human beings now strive to eliminate God from every human process and leave man in charge.
The issue of pregnancy particularly comes to mind because it was through this same means that Our Savior God came to be with us, in the womb of a virgin, in quite odd a circumstance (cf. Matthew 1:18-25). Remarkably Our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary though faced with the same challenges as many women face today, chose to do nothing but the will of God, (cf. Luke 1:38), for her Child-God, was a gift. She, the Mother of our savior should be proposed as a Model to the women of our day, when Children who used to be gifts from God have now become mere products from sex, when the role of God in the sexual union of a married couple is rejected, when the central reasons for marriage and sex these days are lust and sexual pleasure and not self-giving love which is fruitful. More still, when God challenges the artificial barriers we put on the natural procreative process, we refer to the life he has given as a ‘mistake’. The culture of death is now so deep that we even now intend to kill in anticipation. Consequently, people are not the only ones being killed as a result of this culture, but also society, marriage and family are dying, especially with the steady rise in divorced homes. We Christians should stand for Christ and witness to him in the very place where people have chosen to eliminate him. This is an urgent call to refute a fast growing culture that is demonic and diabolical in origin.
Dearest friends in Christ, having considered what ‘the Lord’s side’ truly is; the side of life, it is therefore an onus on us to become servants for life, for we are servants of Jesus Christ, the only true life (cf. John 14:6) and by doing so, we would lead in our very own ministry, a lot of people to the Father through him. We should among other things fight against the current idolization of democracy as a substitute for morality, where the opinion of the majority counts more than the opinion of God, and of well-formed consciences. The saying ‘Vox populos Vox Dei’ (The Voice of the People is the Voice of God), only holds sway when the ‘populos’ are deified, in their consciences and in their ways of doing things. We Christians, we who have been indeed deified, are and should indeed be the people of God during these times in order to speak out to the world with the very voice of God, and especially in the healthcare field, we need to wage this war against the culture of death and instill the culture of life that comes from a faithful listening and acting based on the very Word of God that is Life.