Respect for Life Sunday

Respect for Life Sunday

Today, throughout the Universal Church, is Respect for Life Sunday; for that matter; every Sunday and every day is a time to respect life. For to respect life means we respect God.

Twenty Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

October 6􏰁-7 2018

From Fr. Anthony Ligato Respect for Life Sunday

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

Today, throughout the Universal Church, is Respect for Life Sunday; for that matter; every Sunday and every day is a time to respect life. For to respect life means we respect God. There is a direct relationship between belief in God and the protection of human life, from the unborn to the elderly. As the belief that God is the creator of the universe has come under attack so has God’s creation, humanity. If we are to believe that all this happened by some accident of atoms and molecules colliding together then all life is cheap because it is a series of chemical reactions. This we are supposed to accept without question, even though it is theory. The scientific community can’t tell us how people came to be and have no proof, but that theory we are supposed to accept without question.

Our own Judeo􏰁 Christian cosmology tells us something different and we hear it in the first reading from Genesis 2:18􏰁24, the creation of man and woman provides us an understanding of the order that God gives to the universe through his great creative act. God created the first humans and all creatures from the earth itself, “So the Lord God formed out of the Ground various wild animals and various birds of the air.” (Gen. 2:18􏰁24) Just as the man gave names to all the living creatures, it is God who gives the name of the first human by the very act of creation. The name of first human God created from the earth comes from the Hebrew name for the earth is adama (ad􏰁uh􏰁muh) and the one who is created is referred to in the Hebrew as ha􏰁adam (ha ad􏰁‘am). Once God creates both male and female from the earth we then have the distinction of male and female, the Hebrew ish for man and isha for woman. “This one at last is bone from bone and flesh from my flesh; this one shall be called woman.” You could say in that moment both man and woman are created at the same time because prior to that if we use the Hebrew translations ha􏰁 adama refers to the first human created from the earth and the distinction for male and

female is given after woman is created. The respect that God has for his creation, man and woman is that God gives them names and stewardship over all creation. They are called to mutually respect one another, it is with their disobedience which brings original sin into the world do we begin to see a disrespect of God’s creation. The respect for life that male and female were created with is lost and we see throughout the scriptures how a disrespect for life unfolds.

God created order of the chaos of the universe and humanity took the order that God created us with and for and by the act of disobedience we have turned it back into chaos because we do not respect life from the unborn to the elderly and all the stages in between. In the Gospel of Mark 10:2􏰁16, we clearly see the purpose of the creation of man and woman and how through their lives together God’s creation continues on through our cooperation. But it can’t continue on if we don’t respect God and one another. We cheapen life when we don’t recognize the dignity of all people and of course how can we recognize the dignity of others if we don’t first believe that life from the moment of conception is not sacred. It is an easy stretch to then say the life of the elderly, the sick and the dying has no value. The family also has been disrespected. From the family comes the stable environment for children to grow up. From the moment of that first act of disobedience in the garden we began to tamper with God’s sacred gift of life but God protects that sacred gift. Life is so sacred and cherished by God that he took upon himself our humanity, “He for a little while” was made lower than the angels, that by grace of God he might taste death for everyone.” (Hebrews 2:9􏰁11) Life is so sacred to God that he protects us from death through his own Son’s sacrifice on the cross. Let us protect life by being willing to sacrifice as Jesus Christ did on the cross, by laying down our lives by protecting the lives of those who cannot protect themselves, and who would those people be? All humanity!

Yours in Christ,

Fr. Anthony Ligato

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