“Love Saves Lives”
“I stand for life because I want to be a voice for the voiceless.” This beautiful statement was shared by a young high school student when asked why he is planning to come to the nation’s capital for the Youth Rally and Mass for Life, followed by the March for Life. This sentiment too captures why hundreds of thousands of people will join him in gathering on the Mall and marching to the Supreme Court. While legalized abortion remains the law of the land, we remain committed to reminding people that abortion underlies a culture that wrongly places the power to give and take life with the individual and not with God who is the author of life.
We speak of the sacredness of human life because we recognize that it is totally beyond us. None of us have the power to create life, nor to bring it back once it is gone. Today’s witness for life calls people to acknowledge the indisputable fact that all human life must be treated with respect because all life comes from and is loved by God. For our part, Pope Francis says that likewise, “the responsible accompaniment of human life, from conception to its natural end, involves discernment and an understanding born of love” (Address to the Pontifical Academy for Life, October 5, 2017). This love is fruitful and it saves lives.
Moreover, in our defense of the unborn, we raise our voices also on behalf of so many other human beings who are “invisible” in our society for they are deemed in some way less important or less valuable. They are “all those people who don’t appear to belong,” as the Holy Father has observed. “They are the foreigners, the children who go without schooling, those deprived of medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly” (Homily, Madison Square Garden, September 25, 2015).
In my own encounters with young people from the archdiocese and those I meet at the Rally and Mass for Life, I see a genuine interest and commitment to be the voice for the voiceless. For many, their participation this day is not their only involvement in pro-life work or even the most important event of the year. It is rather part of a regular practice of charity through school and parish groups who assist in serving the poor, reaching out to the homeless, educating their peers about the dignity of all human life, and raising awareness that help and support is available when facing a crisis pregnancy or in the aftermath of an abortion. They know that “love saves lives.”
More and more, the young people who are the future are signs of contradiction to the culture of death in which they have been raised. Choosing instead to be people of life and for life, with God, they help animate our hope in an authentic civilization of love which evokes joy and is our salvation (Evangelium Vitae, 6; Letter to Families, 13).