- The Abbey of the Genesee - http://www.geneseeabbey.org -

January 22, 2016

Fr. Jerome Machar, OCSO [1]

2nd Thursday of Ordinary Time
Day of Prayer for the Legal Protection of Unborn Children
Colossians 1:12-20; Luke 23: 35-45

God’s love is everlasting. We should never doubt that we are the objects of Our Father’s love. When Jesus ascended into heaven with His nail scarred body He took His place at the right hand of the Majesty to plead for those He had left behind. We have the certainty that He will wait for us to join Him. When God became man, He joined our human nature to His divinity for all eternity, giving our human nature a higher dignity than we had the day we were created. It is important to keep this in mind as we turn our attention to the people gathering in Washington. The event reminds us that many people have lost touch with God.

Having lost the anchor of the soul, people tend to forget that they were created by God and for God. Having been created in the image and likeness of God, we are made according to His good pleasure and for His praise and glory. The liturgies and rallies in Washington are intended to be beacons of hope for all, who like Juliet cry out: “O, shut the door! And when you have done so, come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.” This year’s March for Life, says to all people with Pope Francis, “The door is open! We shall weep with you, but tears of joy because there is hope, there is a cure for your soul and there is help for the future.”

To people trapped in a culture of death, Jesus says: “I have conquered death and have broken its bonds. Take my hand and walk in the newness of life.” In the face of sin and death, it pleased God to reconcile sinners to himself. He stretched out His arms on the cross and died so that we might have life and have it abundantly. The door is open and the light of life is offered to each and every one of us. We can choose to die to sin and live, not to ourselves but to Him. We have only to recall Moses’ exhortation to the people: “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Choose life” (Deut. 30:19).

Suspended between heaven and earth, the Lord of Life opened the gates to paradise to all who would call upon His name. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” In the face of total failure, Jesus claims victory over sins and death. In emptiness and darkness, Jesus because the cause of our hope, the source of our healing and companion on the journey. Nailed to the Tree of Life, he became the fountain of mercy for all who are willing to admit their thirst and drink of the living and life-giving waters. Upon the cross, Jesus is seated upon the Throne of Mercy. Though He was consumed by desolation and vanquished by death, He spoke words of hope, healing and forgiveness to a penitent criminal. By Himself entering into the valley of death Jesus calls each of us into everlasting life.

Because we have received mercy, we are called to reach out to those who find themselves in the existential peripheries of society. Because we have been grafted to Christ, we are to live in solidarity with the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters: the poor, the disabled, the unborn and the sick, migrants and refugees, the elderly and the young who lack employment. All of us must care for life, cherish life, and treat every man, woman and child with dignity and respect.