Archbishop José Gomez of Los Angeles writes:
Our country was founded on a great moral truth — that all men and women are created equal and are born with God-given rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Roe v. Wade turned this beautiful truth on inside out. The Supreme Court, in effect, said that our rights do not come from God but instead are bestowed by government — by courts and legislatures.
But that’s not the truth. And if our rights are not endowed by God, then they are subject to the random whims of those who hold political power. The strong get to decide what is right and wrong, who has rights and who does not, who gets to live and who does not.
So that is why the Church will always remain at the center of this great struggle for the right to life in our time.
The right to life is the foundation of every other right and liberty in our society. Of course, we are always working for justice and peace. But we can never “disconnect” this vital work from our defense of innocent life and human dignity.
As Catholics we worship the God of the living. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Jesus has given his Church a mission and each of us a duty to proclaim his Gospel of life.
We are called to be a voice for those who have no voice. We are called to help our society see that every human life — from conception to natural death — is sacred and precious to God.
My brothers and sisters, this is the beautiful truth and mystery of our religion. Our God loved us so much that he chose to enter into our world as each one of us did — through the womb of a mother. Our God loved us so much that he wanted to grow up in a human family. That is why in our Gospel this evening, the drama is a “family drama.” On the one hand, we see the families ruined by Herod. But Herod does not win. Evil and death do not prevail. Because there is another family — the Holy Family of Mary, St. Joseph and the Child Jesus. Our salvation comes to us through the Child Jesus in the sanctuary of the Holy Family. That is why the human child and the human family are so important to our civilization! In the child and the family we see the love of God.
In our Gospel this evening, the angel tells St. Joseph: “Rise, take the Child and his mother.” And Joseph does exactly what God asks of him.
Now this is our duty. Each one of us must hear the voice of God. Each one of us must rise and take the Child Jesus and his mother Mary into the dark night of our culture.
Like St. Joseph, we need to be guardians of the light of life, and shine that light in our world. We need to tell the world the good news of this Child — that the Son of God became a child of Mary so that every mother’s child can become a child of God.
Since Saturday morning, I’ve seen so many young people, so many enthusiastic and determined people, gathering in Washington, D.C. The news gets evermore disappointing from Washington but you all protesting and working to build a culture of life — especially all the young people — “thousands of Davids,” — are a “radiant inspiration,” as Cardinal-Designate Timothy Dolan put it this morning at the closing Mass of the vigil of life at “the home of a pregnant woman who stands at the center of all history,” the Basilica of the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Saint Joseph, pray for us. Our Lady of Guadalupe, help us. As each one of us hears the voice of God, rising and taking “the Child Jesus and his mother Mary into the dark night of our culture.”