Homily by Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi
One very beautiful and profound experience is the wonder of human life as it develops from the first moment of conception. There has been a great development in science, and it is now possible to take a scan of the tiny baby, as it develops slowly. Science clearly shows there is life; not only the potential for life but human life has truly started.
Even if we pretend this is not the case, it still remains a new human life. This is confirmed by science, not faith. What is based on faith is the fact that this human life is a gift of God, and in it we can see his image. In today’s Gospel, Jesus shows us that the life of every human being is dear to God.
Among the most vulnerable
Today, we want to show our gratitude towards so many people who cherish life from the first moment of conception. As we celebrate the Day for Life, with special emphasis on human life within the womb, I would like to put forward three vital words: love, compassion, and care.
This is the environment that truly befits the first stages of human life: an environment of love, compassion, and care. At the initial stages, human life is at its most vulnerable, dependent, and weak. It requires attention, support and protection. It is certainly true that the strength of a society can be gauged according to the progress of its weakest members. We should do our utmost to build a society where the dignity of every human life is appreciated and protected, with special attention to the weakest.
The value of life during the pandemic
The value of life has become truly evident during the cruel event of the Covid-19 pandemic, which we have experienced and are still experiencing. When we face a virus that is threatening not only the health, but also the life, of so many, we become even more conscious how precious life is, and how it should be protected from everything that threatens it.
Hence, we have taken many precautionary measures, and it is vital for us to continue following these directives. This is why the vaccine is important. At the end of the day, it is obvious that we are doing all this because we value our lives and that of others, and we are concerned when others do not respect life.
The pandemic has also shown us that everyone’s life is important, whoever the person is: whether the person is still very young or much older, and also those who have underlying conditions. All have a right to life and to dignity. Thus, I would like to show my appreciation to all those who have worked so hard to care for the life of all.
No one is redundant; no one is expendable.
The pandemic has shown us that we should be consistently pro-life. This is why it is important for life to be protected from the beginning to its natural end. Both those who are at the beginning of life, as well as those who are moving towards the end or reached the end, are vulnerable and weak. The latter also deserve every measure that alleviates their suffering, and a society that offers them love, compassion, and care to the very end. We would like to convey this message to those who feel vulnerable, dependent, weak, and who need help due to illness and the difficult circumstances of their life. No one is redundant; no one is expendable.
Being pro-life, we want to protect life not only in the initial and final moments but also at every stage. That is why we encourage every pro-life action, such as blood donation, which is a very generous and vital act; respect for the air we breathe and for the whole of creation; care for life while driving; responsible measures in the construction industry, so that people are not the victims of negligence; help for those who are desperately looking for refuge, and are at risk of drowning in the Mediterranean; protection for people who are facing domestic violence, so that they do not remain victims; sensitivity in the way we talk to and about each other. These are examples in daily life which show how we should consistently protect life. We are in favour of human life at every stage, and we believe that every life deserves dignity.
Thus, our compassion is directed towards the baby in the womb, and also the mother who is carrying the child.
Help and support
Our God, who became man and lived among us, shows us that it is love that gives us the fulness of life. It is love that is manifested as compassion, especially towards those who are suffering. In the Responsorial Psalm, we prayed: “He cares for those who are broken-hearted, and binds up their wounds.” Thus, our compassion is directed towards the baby in the womb, and also the mother who is carrying the child. Both are cherished. In a special way, we should treasure those who are facing difficulties and problems, and offer our support and solidarity, such that no one has to carry their burden alone or end up as a victim. We thank those who are working wholeheartedly to give help with love, compassion, and care.
A progressive society
When we realise how precious and dear life is, we cannot neglect or eliminate it. This would be the sign of a regressive society. On the other hand, we want a progressive society which works for the progress and development of life, and which recognises that the strength of this type of society depends on the progress of the weakest.
We pray that in our work in favour of life, we will always be led by love, compassion, and care.
✠ Joseph Galea-Curmi