Pastors Speak


Pro Life Reflections At Christmas Time

 

Preparation for Christmas is a time for us to prepare for the entrance of divine life into the human condition. As we look forward to the celebration of Christ’s nativity we prepare spiritually by acts of penance that allow us to renew our love for God so that we may freshly adore Him in the manger of Bethlehem. His humility requires our humility to receive His love into our lives.

But Christmas is also a time to renew our appreciation for the value of human life— life so precious to God that He assumed human nature to redeem that same nature. Certainly, anyone who possesses a simple reverence for Christ will see in His Incarnation a resounding affirmation of the goodness and value of each human life. Created in the image and likeness of God, each human life deserves a reverence that even God sees fit to serve.

Each human life is a gift that God gives to the world. Do we believe this? The first mother cried out joyfully, “I have gotten a man with the help of the Lord,” (Gen 4:1), yet so many mothers and fathers are afraid of that same gift. Is it not possible that we do not appreciate the value of each new life because the darkness of our sins and weakness of our faith has blinded us to the significance of our own lives? If we find our own lives miserable and meaningless, we will conclude that parenting is cruel, burdening the world with yet another life to serve, and consigning the new life to the ungratefulness of others.

Without knowledge of the great light that has dawned upon all men of good will, the world will seem a cursed darkness. All we need do is open our eyes and hearts to the God made man to see the love that makes all life lovable. Let us prepare well, then, to receive Him!

O, like a tiny cradle, 
Could thy heart become, 
God would on earth again 
Be born an infant son. 
(Angelus Silesius, 1624-1677)

Rev. J. Mark Williams

Pastor of Saint Peter Church in Peoria, and director of Evangelism for the Catholic Diocese of Peoria. 12/96