Human life is a precious gift from
God, who is the origin and end of human life. Life begins at the very moment of
conception. When the child is conceived
in the womb of the mother, then at the same time, God intervenes and infuses an
immortal soul into that human person.
Life is precious at all moments of
existence from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.
The baby speaks in praise of God his
creator in Psalm 139:13-16. Listen attentively as the baby praises the
wonderful work of God in forming him, even knitting him in the depths of his
“You formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me; wonderful are your works! My very self you knew; my bones were not
hidden from you, When I was being made in secret, fashioned in the depths of
On the opposite side of the spectrum
we find elderly people, “Downs” children, and disabled people. Today in
the eyes of a society in which Materialism, Power, Vanity, Pleasure and Beauty
have become nothing less than the modern “Gods”, these individuals who cannot
produce very much economically, nor do they shine for beauty and success are
seen as an economic burden to society.
They are viewed as useless, worthless, like objects to be
discarded. Human life has become
cheap. Blessed Mother Teresa of
Calcutta made the prophecy that if the smallest and most vulnerable member of
society--- the unborn child in the womb of the mother--- is to be discarded and
disposed through abortion, then all of human life will lose its intrinsic,
innate value. Life becomes cheap.
Persons become objects to be utilized and exploited and discarded at will.
This system was promoted by Economic-political,
English philosophers, J.S. Mill and Jeremy Bentham in a system coined as
UTILITARIANISM. This long word simply
means that the human person’s value is in direct proportion to his economic
productivity. In other words, the more
the person can make monetarily and produce in the realm of economics, then the
greater that person is. Consequently, if
he can no longer produce and this might be an elderly person with Alzheimer’s
or Parkinson’s or somebody dependent on dialysis or a downs person, then he
forfeits the right to exist.
How contrary this view is to the view
of God manifested in the Incarnate Word Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, both
in His own Person and in the exquisite and gentle, as well as loving way that
He treated all, especially the poorest of the poor. Contemplate the life of Jesus!
Born in the stable of animals of
humble and poor parents, working as a poor carpenter until he was 30 years,
living three years as an itinerant preacher with no permanent abode: “The foxes
have their holes and the birds of the air have their nest but the Son of man
has nowhere to lay his head.” Finally,
He ends His life stripped, scourged, nailed to the cross and laid in a borrowed
Who were Jesus’ favorites? In the eyes of the Utilitarians, those
worthy of being discarded and rejected were the ones he loved most! They would line up to see, hear and touch
Jesus and He never rejected them but invited all to come. “Come to me all who are weary with heavy
burdens and I will give you rest…” (Mt 1:28...)
The blind, the lame, the sick, the paralytics, the deaf and mute as well
as the lepers--- they all felt the magnetic attraction of Jesus.
Life is a precious gift from the
Creator--God Himself. God Himself has
stated this in numerous Biblical passages. Job in the midst of his intense
sufferings cries out: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I return to
the earth. The Lord gives and the Lord
takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
Even in the Constitution of the
United States of America our founding Fathers clearly asserted the value of
every human person. “Each and every
individual has inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of
Today more than ever there is being
waged a mortal battle between good and evil, light against darkness, love
against hatred, the spirit of true sacrifice against selfishness and egotism.
However the clearest battle today is
in the words of Pope John Paul II in his encyclical “Gospel of Life”: the
Culture of death in opposition to the Gospel of life. The Bible gives us many names for the devil:
the ancient serpent, Beelzebub, the prince of this world, demon, devil, and the
dragon of the Apocalypse. Still, one of
the most poignant and penetrating names for the devil expressed by Jesus
Himself is “Father of lies and a MURDERER
from the beginning”. The devil is a consummate liar, already seen
from the account of lying to Eve in the Garden of Eden. But also the devil is a murderer; he
relishes in lies, hatred, violence and death.
There is no better modern rendition of the devil as violent and
bloodthirsty murderer than in the classic movie of Mel Gibson’s, The Passion of the Christ.
One last comment with respect for
fostering the weak, the vulnerable and those whom the world considers useless
and worthy of disposing at will, and it is in the person of the “Downs”
child. Chilling statistics point out
that mothers who have pre-natal tests manifesting an extra chromosome—meaning
that it is a “Down’s child”—close to 90%
of these mothers make the catastrophic decision to abort that child. Once again utilitarianism: human worth
depends on economic productivity.
However any of you who have met one
who has been blessed by God to be a “Downs-child” will recall the extraordinary
blessings of that child. What are some of the typical character traits? Innocence, transparency, joy, spontaneity,
love, tenderness, compassion, honesty, patience. In a world where innocence is lost at a very
young age, duplicity reigns far and wide, love has grown cold, and tenderness
curdles into hardness of heart, the Downs child points to Jesus Himself. If parents of “normal” teenagers were asked
who caused more problems the so called “normal” teen or the Downs, beyond the
shadow of a doubt, the normal teenager causes more headaches, ulcers and
In conclusion, we must hold high
the Ignatian standard, the standard of
Blessed Pope John Paul II, the standard of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
which is the standard of the beauty, the dignity, the value of every human
being that God brings into existence.
Every human being has infinite value because all were redeemed by the
Blood of the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. In the words of holy Job let us pray: “Naked I came forth from my mother’s womb and
naked I return to the earth. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be
the name of the Lord.”