A people of life
Peace be with you! Jesus uttered these words as his first greeting to the disciples after the violent experience of his passion and death on the cross. It is hard to imagine the mixture of excitement, confidence, and peace the disciples must have felt seeing the risen Jesus in their midst.
As Catholics, we are sent on a mission to bring this peace of Christ to a culture of chaos, confusion, and death. These past days Christians have been a target of violence and rage in the wake of the news of the illegally leaked draft opinion coming from the Supreme Court.
The reason the church has been a target is no surprise. As God’s people, we have stood for the dignity and sanctity of life from the very beginning. As the culture in which the early church grew became more and more violent, those who proclaimed the good news of the resurrection saw their lives threatened by a culture of death. It is certain that these words echoed in those early Christian hearts “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (Jn 15:18)
That has not deterred us from proclaiming the Gospel of Life but also inspired us to reach out to help those in need who find themselves in difficult situations. The countless number of Christians who have stepped in to be advocates for children and women in need cannot be ignored. Catholics have adopted babies, provided for mothers in need, sheltered the homeless, and provided care for the orphaned, widowed, and elderly. We should be proud of the work we have done to be a witness to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception to a natural death!
One of the names that Satan is given in the scriptures is “the father of lies” and so he is. Do not be discouraged by the culture that falsely accuses you of only caring for the unborn.
This May issue of the West River Catholic is a small testament to the fact that we care for mothers as well as the lives of their unborn babies. We even care for those who chose a path that finds them now in need of forgiveness and healing. I hope you read more about Walking with Moms in Need, our diocesan Rachel’s Vineyard retreats, and the many ways the Lord is at work in healing the culture of death by your steadfast witness of life and hope in the promise of the resurrection.
Continue to pray, continue to fast, and offer up your sufferings and direct help to those in our country who are most in need. Our Lady, Queen of Peace, Comfort of the afflicted, and Help of Christians, pray for us.
+ Bishop Peter Muhich