In our Gospel this weekend, Jesus teaches that we must love one another as He has loved us (cf John 15: 9-17). How has Christ loved us? Christ’s sacrifice is the ultimate evidence of God’s love for us, a love so great that we can rightly state that God is love itself (1John 4:7-10).
His love is to be revealed to all the world (Psalm 98:3). As Peter raises up Cor- nelius in today’s first reading, the Church continues to lift all eyes to Christ, the only one in whose name they can find salvation.
“In the Church, each of us has been begotten by the love of God...We are to love one another as we have been loved. We are to lay down our lives in giving our- selves to others—that they too might find friendship with Christ, and new life through Him” (Dr. Scott Hahn).
Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia writes this concerning the Alfie Evans debacle:
In the so-called “developed” nations, science and technology have also fostered an approach to life based on utility and efficiency. The calculations of a culture ruled by the computer leave little room for the heart – which is why the philosopher Augusto Del Noce saw technological civilization as dogged by a chronic temptation to totalitarianism. The math of microchips has no tolerance for error or imperfection, and that intolerance can transfer to a culture and spread as easily as a virus.
That’s bad news for human beings, who are too often neither useful nor efficient nor perfect, but rather weak, suffering, flawed and dependent. For Christians, this subtracts nothing from their humanity. Such persons are brothers, not failures, and every needy person is a child of God worthy of love and support.
That includes infants struggling to survive a life-threatening illness like Alfie Ev- ans. As we see every day now in the news from Britain about baby Alfie Evans and the efforts by his parents to get him medical help outside the country, “civilized” courts of law can be utterly callous, stubborn, driven by utility, resistant to humanitarian appeals, and brutish in interfering with a child’s right to life and his parents’ right to fight for that life.
The real “shape of things to come” is never completely in human hands. The future will be shaped by many different facts and forces, many of which we do not and cannot control, not least the will of God. But neither are we helpless. Quite the opposite: History is filled with the reality of one person or groups of persons fighting for what they believe, and thereby changing and channeling the course of events.
Our lives make a difference. We’re here for a purpose. That purpose includes defending the weak and the suffering, and also defending the freedom of the Church to preach, teach and speak the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is a privilege, not a burden, and we need to treasure it for the sake of our own humanity and the humanity of those we love.
God bless you all, Father Letona