My new friend Fr. Matthew Olver, a fellow Covenant author and one of three or four Gen X/Y Diocesan Ecumenical Officers at the National Workshop on Christian Unity, has written a fantastic piece reflecting on the value of life. It’s very good and I hope you’ll take the time to read and reflect on it:
In Cormac McCarthyâ€™s novel No Country for Old Men (recently and excellently adapted for the screen by the Cohen Brothers), the sheriff describes meeting a woman at a conference in Corpus Christi, who tells him:
â€œI donâ€™t like the way this country is headed. I want my granddaughter to be able to have an abortion.â€
And I said, â€œWell, maâ€™am, I donâ€™t think you got any worries about the way this country is headedâ€¦Iâ€™m goinâ€™ to say that not only will she be able to have an abortion, sheâ€™ll be able to have you put to sleep.â€
Which pretty much ended the conversation.
The Gospel is a call to live by grace in union with the Father, by grace to share in that bond of love between the eternal Father and his coeternal Son. The Gospel beckons us into Life itself. Near the very end of Israelâ€™s sojourn in the wilderness, God puts the choice starkly before them: â€œI have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may liveâ€ (Deut 30:19).
Jesusâ€™ summary of his redemptive mission is straightforward: â€œI came that they might have life, and have it more abundantlyâ€ (John 10:10). This life is the fulfillment of how the Blessed Trinity created us, â€œin our [Godâ€™s] image, after our likenessâ€ (Gen. 1:26). The power of sinâ€™s infection in all creation is profound: it obscures, but does not obliterate, Godâ€™s image in us. This tension is where Christians begin in their understanding of the human person.