Pro-Life Love Your Enemies

This Homily was given at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis before their monthly rosary walk to Planned Parenthood. 

Dt 26:16-19, Ps:119:1-2,4-5,7-8, Mt 5:43-48

     In this morning’s Gospel, Jesus gives us a very direct challenge to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us.  This challenging call from Christ is ultimately an invitation to see others as God seems them, which gets to the heart of what the Pro-Life movement really is. For to be Pro-Life is to recognize that all life, perfect and imperfect, is to be cherished, loved and respected, as a human person created in the image and likeness of God.

     You and I come to give a voice to the voiceless because we know that no matter the stage of development, our God sees each and every person as created in His own image and likeness. With truth and justice on our minds, it can be easy to see those who work so strongly against the cause for life as enemies, yet as we stand up for the voiceless, we must remember the command of Christ to love our enemies. Regardless of how we, in the Pro-Life movement, are viewed we cannot allow ourselves to stoop to the level of seeing those in opposition to us as our enemies, for to do so causes us to make the same error they make, namely to fail to see each person as God sees them.

     Jesus commands us to be perfect just as our heavenly father is perfect. God does not look at our world and see enemies; no when He looks upon His creation and sees evil He calls His people to mercy and conversion. Rather than look through the fence at Planned Parenthood and see our enemies, we are called to look through the fence and see our brothers and sisters in need of conversion. We are called to imitate Christ and call out “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”[1] Regardless of whether we are viewed as enemies, we are called to love those who work against the cause of life unto the cross.

     My friends, “justice is inseparable from charity,”[2] for “charity transcends justice and completes it in the logic of giving and forgiving.”[3] To be truly Pro-life demands that we see those who work against our cause with charity, seeking their conversion rather than their demise. And so as we prepare to receive Charity Himself present in the Holy Eucharist, today’s Gospel challenges us to ask how do I see those people on the other side of the fence? Are they my enemy, or are they opportunities for God’s mercy and conversion?

[1] LK 23:34

[2] Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal. Caritas in Veritate. Washington DC: US Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2009)par. 6. Pg 5.

[3] Ratzinger, Joseph Cardinal. Caritas in Veritate. Washington DC: US Conference of Catholic Bishops. (2009) par. 6. Pg 5.

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