Pro-Life, Anti-Wall

jerusalem-sunrise

We can find a familiar word in Sunday’s gospel reading. The news and political debate of the last election made this word very popular on cable news and Twitter. A sizable group of immigrants, traveling north together. [Spanish]

Just like: Jesus’ parents, on the way home from Jerusalem, thought He was in the caravan.

Blessed Mother gave birth to Jesus in the city of… Is that a long way from Jerusalem? Hardly. Six miles. You’d think that would mean just a quick trip between them.

But what lies between Jerusalem and Bethlehem now? It wasn’t there when the Lord Jesus was born. If it had been, the wise men couldn’t have followed the star to the stable.

There’s a wall. A border wall.

Do I look like I’m making this up? The state of Israel built a wall between Jerusalem and Bethlehem. A wall that divides Israeli territory from Palestinian territory.

The Catholic Patriarch of Jerusalem wrote about the wall one Christmas a few years ago, as the Israeli government was completing the construction. The Patriarch wrote:

In this Christmas feast, we pray for the towns, cities, and villages of the Holy Land, because they are isolated from each other. With pain and deep sadness, we observe civilians being blockaded by the erection of walls and barriers. These contribute to violence and humiliation, generating grudges and hatred, whereas what we need is mutual trust, friendly co-operation, and a quiet, serene life.

As we gaze at the manger, we realize: the very mysteries of Christmas make demands on us. Demands that turn politics in contemporary America into a seriously painful and difficult business, for a Christian.

bethlehem-wall1
Israel border wall

On the one hand: baby Jesus, with His quiet cooing, loudly insists: you must be pro-life. The true hope of the world turns on reverence for life in the womb. Only dark despair could ever even try to justify killing an unborn child in an elective abortion.

Nowhere in any of the true sources of human wisdom can we find anything that establishes a “right” to destroy a child. The idea that a “right” to abortion can exist in an enlightened civilization—that is an absolute lie. As we gaze at the newborn Christ, we know we have a duty to call it a lie, and to stand up for the truth.

Like the Jerusalem Patriarch put is: “Mutual trust. Friendly co-operation. Serenity of life.” This does not include abortion. As long as abortions, occur, we do not have peace on earth.

But what else? The Holy Family migrated. As a Latino congressman pointed out in a congressional hearing ten days ago: If Egypt had built a wall at their border with Herod’s kingdom, baby Jesus would have died in the slaughter of the newborns.

Jesus never obtained citizenship papers in the Roman Empire. If He had, our Redemption would not have occurred. Christianity as we know it would not exist. The Romans did not crucify their citizens; they only crucified non-citizens. Our Savior died on the cross as an undocumented non-citizen.

A barrier wall at our border, to keep people out? Have we not read our Bibles? The prophets celebrate one ultimate reality: All people, all nations, streaming toward Jerusalem, from the four corners of the earth. Throw open the gates! They come from Ethiopia and Cush, from Phoenicia and Tarshish, from Chaldea and Persia!

Some people say: Father, you have fallen prey to the typically naïve false compassion of the liberal clergyman. The Scriptures are about spiritual things. But we need secure borders.

How about this? It is naïve, totally naïve, to imagine that a nation turned in on itself, paranoid of enemies and fearful of immigrants, can prosper. Nations do not prosper when whole classes of people live in the shadows, because the reigning authority denies them the rights of citizenship.

Let’s start 2019 by acknowledging that this supposedly Christian nation has fallen far away from the truly Christian path. We have for the most part stood silently by, while one-fifth of the people who should have been our friends and neighbors got killed in the womb.

And we have stood silently by, while a path to citizenship for our law-abiding, undocumented-immigrant neighbors got taken off the political negotiating table. Then the path to citizenship for immigrants who came as children got taken off the political negotiating table. Now federal government workers have at least one paycheck in jeopardy—all because of someone’s fantasy of an impractical and pointless border wall.

Everyone says, “Yes, it’s a mess, our government is a mess”–without admitting: We made this mess, we who have the right to vote. We live in a representative democracy. If our government is dysfunctional, it’s because we dysfunctionally elected the people who make it up.

May the caravan Lady, Mary of Nazareth, and the divine fruit of her womb, help us find a way to clean up this unholy mess.

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7 thoughts on “Pro-Life, Anti-Wall

  1. I have been pro-life for my entire life. I quite my highest paying job rather then work with abortive drugs. I protest at the street and in our Capital.
    I am the descendant of poor immigrants from petty wars in Europe. The reform needed for immigration needs to come to the paperwork system. The laws do not need to be an open door either. Just stay true to the Statue of Liberty.

  2. Do not vote for Trump? Sometimes you have no other choice! How would Jesus feel when you vote for pro-abortionists? What would your answer be to Him? As long as this country legalizes abortion, there is no hope. Just as the hierarchy in our church covers up sexual abuse, there is no hope. Again and again, I say “Pray”. Admit that we have a corrupt government and a corrupt church. Face reality. Bad people and good people are entering the USA for a variety of reasons. Our entire government is responsible.
    And further questions – Didn’t Jesus instruct them to build a wall around Jerusalem? Who built the wall around the Vatican?

  3. I too am Pro LIfe. I pulled a float in the very first Right to Life March in the early seventies. I am also Pro Immigration provided it is done legally just like your ancestors and mind did it.. I thought the Holy Family was on the wary home from Jerusalem after registering. They were not on a journey to willfully violate the laws of whatever state ruled that area. The Holy Family was not part of a caravan funded by outside influences (Soros). Jesus was crucified by Jews not Romans. Conflating the abortion issue with the need to preserve our border is insulting, as is the attempt to tell me who or who not to vote for. If I’m confronted with a choice of an abortion supporter like Hillary or Donald Trump, you can bet your life I’ll vote for Trump again.

  4. Like to hear from the Mexican parishioners of Saint Joseph Catholic Church who are living in the shadows of American society because they are here illegally. Do they consider themselves good Catholics by sneaking across the border illegally? And why is the Mexican community harboring illegals which is clearly against American law? Aborting a baby or disrespecting another citizens country are both sins that never end in a good report.

  5. In other words, less bitching and more praying. In other words, correct training from our clergy about truth and the doctrine of our church. In other words, Bishops doing their job and making sure that the priests under their authority are teaching correctly and not spreading their falsehoods, with no fear of any repercussions, not to mention their blatant disobedience going unpunished.
    When are we going to realize that Gods truth is above and beyond political identification? We should identify primarily with our Catholic Church first and foremost and our nationalities second. Separation is the root of ALL evil, the very foundation of Evil. Whenever Me vs. You or Us vs. Them exists, there is sin. God is not divided and neither are we in reality, we just don’t know it because it is not part of our experience, but it is true just the same.

    “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne

    We all either sink or swim together collectively on this earthbound journey.

    When is the last time a politician worked towards unity? Really. They live for separation and divisiveness and use us as pawns in their game for their quest of power. And us, what do we do? We let them, along with the media, play on our fears and prejudices to keep us divided and at odds. I for one am sick of it and have been for longer than I can remember. I vote in every election because it is my obligation as a good citizen. I vote even though I know that in this world of darkness there is one who is having his time, but only for a little while. We know who has the victory, JESUS, and so does Satan. Satan has only one goal, to rob. He knows he’s lost, it just about dragging as many weaklings to hell with him as he can.

    When are we going to stand up and fight for RIGHT, TRUTH and LOVE? Our weapon, The Sacraments, especially reconciliation, Communion and The Holy Rosary.

    Wow. I feel better all ready. Thank you Fr. Mark and God Bless you.

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