The triumph of life.
Christ preached the Gospel of Life. St. John called Christ “the Word of life.” Lord Jesus called Himself “the way, the truth, and the life…the resurrection and the life.” He declared, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly…He who follows me will have the light of life.” St. Peter called Jesus “the Author of life.”
When Christ rose from the dead, He confirmed the truth of all this preaching. The Gospel of Life does not consist solely of words. The Gospel involves the divine power that conquered death–“the spirit of life in Christ Jesus,” as St. Paul calls it.
We Christians, who believe and celebrate Christ’s sacraments—we live and breathe the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life. Pope St. John Paul II declared: the Church is the People of Life. We rejoice especially that our dear Elect will share in the Spirit of life through the sacraments of Christian initiation.
Now, sometimes I wish I could just do my priestly duties quietly and then watch basketball. Some people think we should observe Easter with no strife and strain—just smelling lilies, eating chocolate bunnies, relaxing.
If we had the luxury of living in stable and peaceful times, then maybe we could just sit down on a picnic blanket and eat ham and deviled eggs, instead of having to endure a sermon on touchy topics.
But we don’t live in peaceful and stable times. So we have to focus on what Christ’s triumph of life means for us as members of our beloved body politic. How does the People of Life fit in, in America?
Just two quotes from the newspaper. One presidential candidate insists that moving into the future means everyone accepting Roe v. Wade as “settled law.” Yes: Accept that unborn children have no rights, as “settled law.”
Now, how could we possibly reconcile that with what we know to be true? Christ rose from the dead that we might have life! He conquered death, so that all might live. How could we, the People of Life, ever accept abortion-on-demand as “settled law?” Impossible. No, this year and every year, we will stand up and fight for the innocent and defenseless unborn. Until the day when Roe v. Wade falls into the shameful dustbin of history, where it belongs.
Newspaper quote #2. A couple other presidential candidates in a different party insist that we must round up and deport all undocumented immigrants. Doesn’t matter that these deportations would leave countless American-born children fatherless and motherless. Round ‘em up and deport ‘em, no matter the human cost!
And does this supposed round-up have to do with ‘criminals?’ To the contrary. This involves our neighbors, good people who make up part of the fabric of life in America. Brothers and sisters in the Lord, in this very church.
So we have another obligation. The People of Life must not sit quietly by, while presidential candidates threaten our friends and neighbors with an inhuman reign of terror.
Let’s ask ourselves this: Do we live in a just society? A nation can claim to be just, can claim to be “great,” when the defenseless people living in it know they can count on others to stand up to protect their basic human rights.
Unborn babies. Law-abiding immigrants facing deportation. When these brothers and sisters are safe, then I promise I’ll preach lilies and bunnies that Easter.
We do not live in stable, peaceful times. But we do live by the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
This is not just about how we will vote in the fall. It’s not for priests to tell people how to vote. I couldn’t tell you how to vote, even if I wanted to. This is about who we are, who God made us to be, the people we can have the courage to be.
May the Lord give us what it takes to fight for a country that we want to leave to our children. Let’s stand up for the innocent and defenseless. By doing so, we can help to make America the stable and peaceful place we want to live in.
After all, we, the People of Life, the holy Roman Catholic Church in America–we have a worthy leader. We always take our cues from Him, no matter who, or who isn’t, running for office. Our true leader is the man Who rose from the dead.
3 thoughts on “Pro-Life, Pro-Immigrant Easter”
Happy Easter, Father Mark!
Thank you for not sitting quietly by and for saying things that need to be said.
Thank you for putting your Easter homily on line. You are so bold and brave, a true inspiration. Go Holy Spirit !! God bless you.
I am really getting tired of you telling us how NOT to vote!!! Specifically the immigrant issue. I believe it is widely known that you had a friend at your prior parish which was taken away by federal authorities due to being an illegal immigrant. I understand you rallied for his family and him as best you could. Do you suppose it to be possible, just possible, that those authorities knew a little more about this man than you? Do you really think out of all the illegal immigrants in Virginia or the nation they would come after this one man for being an illegal only? Is it possible your man could have been something more? Do you know a man who was named Al Capone? He was sent to prison. Was it for the murders he ordered, or illegal alcohol shipments, or brutality from loan sharking illegal immigrants? No, he was sent to prison for federal tax evasion. Do you really think any candidate could deport hundreds of thousands of illegals? Even if they truly wanted to; most reasonable minded, common sense people know it would be impossible to perform, and realize it is a typical political ploy to get votes. Do you believe the muslims to be a valid threat to our religion, our very way of life, or our country? If your answer is no; perhaps you should explore some more history. Time after time throughout history many various countries have gone to war to stop the muslims, taliban, al-kayda; whatever name you choose to call them, from destroying the churches and countries of others who did not agree with the koran. Even the Catholic Church has supported fighting against them. Our borders need to be secure for far more reasons than your law abiding illegal immigrants. Thousands of people go through the LEGAL way to gain entry into this country every year in hopes of becoming citizens. Is it right for them to be punished and delayed in legal entry due to so many illegals taking up the resources and jobs ahead of them? Rather than not telling us how to vote because you couldn’t even if you wanted to; try putting some more common sense in your homilies like Fr. Miller did.