On January 25th- 29th, I will be joining four of our young people along with three chaperones on the Pilgrimage for Life. We will head to Washington DC with nearly 5 busloads of youth from the Diocese of LaCrosse to take a stand for Life, to announce to the world that we are the Pro Life generation. The media is focusing on the March for Women this week in DC, a protest against President Trump. (By the way, as Catholics, no matter who is in office, we must always pray for our elected officials, and wish no ill- will towards any.) The March for Life however is consistently the largest and youngest protest in our nation every year, and hardly gets a mention in the news. Our group will join with more than a quarter million young people from around the country.
When I was in Jerusalem, I visited and paid my respects at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial. I saw a large quote from a non-Jew named Imre Bathory who had risked his life to save Jews from extermination: “I know that when I stand before God on Judgment Day, I shall not be asked the question posed to Cain – where were you when your brother’s blood was crying out to God?” In this fight, I cannot be silent, both the sake of the innocent, and my own soul’s sake. Please keep us in your prayers as we travel.
A message from Priests for Life:
When Jesus begins to preach, he starts by saying “Repent” (today’s Gospel). When John the Baptist began to preach, he said, “Repent” (see Mt. 3:1-2). When Peter began to preach on the day of Pentecost, he said, “Repent” (see Acts 2:38). The readings talk today about light breaking into darkness.
Repentance, whose Greek words means a change of the mind, is enlightenment that what one may have thought was right is actually wrong, and what one thought led to happiness and fulfillment actually does not.
The imperative to repent, furthermore, comes about precisely because light has broken into darkness. Jesus says in today’s Gospel passage that the reason, motive, and basis for repentance is that “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” A kingdom has broken into the world; therefore, we see its light, are attracted by it, and begin to move in its direction. This means breaking from sin and from all that leads us away from the light.
The great darkness of our day is the myth that some human lives, particularly those in the womb, just don’t count. To so many, these lives are not worthy of constitutional protection, not worthy of our public witness, and not even worthy of discussion.
Often, this is because of the very phenomenon Paul describes in the second reading. “I belong to this political party.” “I belong to that organization.” “I follow this particular philosophy or theology.” Based on many of these false divisions among us, some try to justify “the right to choose” abortion.
Yet Christ breaks through these false divisions. If all are one in Christ Jesus, it is because he has united all human life to himself and given us all an equal call to salvation and eternal life. Raising human life to the heights of heaven, he has raised men and women, born and unborn.
There is only one human nature, and by the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery, everyone who shares that human nature now also shares access to the very life of God. Because of that, we uphold the dignity of every person. This indeed is the light that has broken into our darkness, the Kingdom of God that ushers us to repentance. End Quote
God bless you all,
Father Robert Letona