Sixth Sunday of Easter, 21-22 May 2022
Dear Fellow Saints-in-the-Making,
Greetings in Christ our Risen Savior.
As we celebrate the Sixth Sunday of Easter, we hear in this Sunday Gospel that Jesus says to His disciples the very familiar words we hear the Presider of Mass say just before we share the Sign of Peace: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.” The Presider says them precisely because they, like the Eucharist, form part of Jesus’ legacy to us; As He gives us His Body and Blood in the Most Blessed Sacrament, so He gives us His peace.
Then Jesus offers encouraging words of comfort: “Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.” This is a most timely consolation, for recent events have caused great fear among many people, including Catholic churches at Mass, when, due to a leaked Supreme Court document on the possible overturn of Roe v. Wade, radical anti-Catholics and pro-abortionists threatened to violently interrupt Catholic Masses in major metropolitan cities on Mother’s Day of all days! Some even spray-painted graffiti threats such as “If abortions aren’t safe, then you aren’t either” on the outer walls of a pro-life building in Wisconsin. The perpetrators of these unconscionable acts form part of a pro-abortion group called “Ruth sent us,” apparently named after the deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
This does great disservice to the memory of Justice Ginsburg, despite her own pro-abortion leanings. She most assuredly would never have condoned such lawless behavior, which also dishonors her long-standing amicable friendship with her fellow former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a Roman Catholic whose own views in support of life in the womb were diametrically opposed to Justice Ginsburg’s. The disagreement on this fundamental issue of life beginning at conception, however, did not stop them from sharing a genuine friendship.
The name “Ruth sent us” also dishonors Justice Ginsburg’s namesake: the Biblical heroine Ruth. As a Jew, Justice Ginsburg would have recognized that, as we learn in the Old Testament book that bears her name, Ruth was a very upstanding woman, filled with loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi, whose husband and two sons (one of whom was Ruth’s husband) all died, leaving Naomi no other choice for survival than to return to her people in Bethlehem.
Though Naomi releases her sons’ widows to return to their own homelands, Ruth, a pagan, pronounces some of the most remarkable words in Scripture: “Wherever you go I will go...Your people shall be my people and your God, my God…” Ruth’s fidelity to Naomi is a type of our Savior’s loyalty to us, never leaving us even though we might leave Him when we sin. And Ruth’s loyalty to her mother-in-law Naomi should inspire our own loyalty to Holy Mother Church and her teachings about the dignity and value of all human life from conception through natural death.
The violent actions of the above pro-abortionists are unacceptable in a society where civil discourse is supposed to be the norm (And, in justice, I must also add that violent actions of a few errant pro-lifers, such as the murder of a doctor who provides abortion, is equally egregious. These violations, though, are few and far between but nevertheless unacceptable).
While in righteous anger we may condemn positions that run against Catholic morality, we are not to condemn any human person, regardless of their position on life. This includes politicians who on one side almost unilaterally condone abortion as a constitutional right and who on another side are promoting the death penalty. All human life has irreplaceable value. As a nation—and as individuals—we will never be able to live the peace Jesus Himself leaves us if we are not committed to protecting all human life from conception through natural death.
Let us all pray to Mary the Mother of God, during this month dedicated to Our Lady, that we might live the peace her Son Jesus Christ gives to us so that all who see us see Him. Why is this most important? So that everyone in the world who is not at peace will know that the Prince of Peace Jesus sent us!
God love you! I do.