We respect life. We have a commitment to preserve life. We love life.
Yesterday, a woman and her companion approached me. They asked me to bless the fetus. They don’t want to bury the fetus without the blessing. It was put in a little jar, with water in it. Poor little fetus! It was started to form a human body, but no life. No more life. I felt so sad when I looked at it.
Before the blessing, I talked to them in private and listened to what had happened. I listened to their heavy feelings, their frustration, their anger, their hatred. There were tears. It was the sister of that woman who intentionally killed the baby in her womb. The young mother didn’t want the child. She took medicine, supported by her boyfriend, who is a student of a prestigious school of Davao, and tried to abort the child in her womb. They destroyed the life of the innocent.
Why is it easy for our youth today to have a premarital sex? Why is it easy for the people to stop life? Where is our value? Are we concern about this? Abortion is not just a personal sin. It has an implication in our society. It will become a social sin. We are one body. We also have responsibilities for each other, to care for each other, to be concerned for each other.
Just like the prophets of the Old Testament, we have the responsibility to bring our society back to God. The prophets are those people inspired by the Holy Spirit who called the people of Israel to conversion, to be reconciled again with God. They tried to awaken true repentance among the people unconcerned with things of God. The prophets, like the prophet Isaiah, calling the people to “Prepare the way of the Lord!”
After centuries of prophetic silence, another prophet in the New Testament came. John the Baptist appeared and began to speak the Word of God to the people of Israel. His message is the same: “Prepare the way of the Lord!” For John the Baptist, to prepare the way of the Lord is to turn away from our sin, to turn back to God and to witness to the Truth. John the Baptist pointed the whole nation of Israel to Christ and the coming of the kingdom. His baptism with water was for repentance and taking a new way of life, a change of life, according to God’s Word.
The message of the Gospel today is to change our life in a way that God wants us to be. It is also to change our society in a way that God wants it to be – a society that protects life, preserves and respects life, a society that gives value to human life.
Life is a gift for us. (That is why we celebrate it in our birthdays.) In this season of Advent, we also celebrate life because the God of life is coming to us. In his first coming, Jesus lived his life with us. Then, he gave his life for us. He died on the cross that we might live.
Now that we are waiting for his second coming, we are challenge to truly prepare the way of the Lord – that is – to change our whole society, to bring it back to God. Like John the Baptist, we too are called to draw all people back to God. We are baptized in Christ with the Holy Spirit. We are prophets of our time. Each of us has a responsibility to point others to Jesus Christ and to the coming of his kingdom, the kingdom of life and love.
We have parents here; do we value and promote life within our family? We have especially youth here; do we condemn killings and abortion that destroy life? If so, we are preparing the way of the Lord and opening our hearts to receive him in this Holy Eucharist.