Homily by Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi
Today, we are commemorating the precious human lives which were cut short during their development, and thus could not be born. They never had the opportunity to show the world their potential. We mourn the loss of these unborn lives, because human life should always be cherished. Their loss is a great loss for us all. It is not only a loss for those who believe in Christ, but also a loss for all those who, in one way or another, value human life from its conception.
However, today, we also mourn with those who took the decision to terminate human life in its early stages. There could have been so many reasons for them to do this. They might have found themselves in a situation where they could not understand fully what they were doing, and what the consequences would be. Perhaps they faced great hardship and did not find the support they needed. Instead of finding people to help them, they could have been under pressure to terminate human life. Whatever the reason, may they now find people to support them as they go through the process of forgiveness in order to arrive at complete healing. May those who made this wrong decision find the help they need to be able to start afresh, and work fervently in favour of life.
Whoever wants to end human life in its early stages is not progressive but regressive. It has been said correctly that the strength of a society is measured by the progress of the most vulnerable.
Protection in Society
We are also here today to renew our commitment to work actively in favour of life, even when we are faced by a mind-set that is promoting a culture of death. We should remember that, when slavery existed, this mentality was commonly accepted. By time, thanks to the involvement of courageous people, a number of societies understood the injustice involved, and began to work wholeheartedly against slavery, rejecting the concept completely, because it went against human dignity.
Today, in various parts of the world, there is a mentality which accepts and promotes the ending of a human life which has been conceived, but not yet born. It is a widespread mentality. We hope and pray that the time will come when, just as different societies saw the error of their ways and worked wholeheartedly against slavery, they will do the same in the case of human life, that is, become fully aware of the reality, and work passionately against the idea that someone can end another person’s life.
Progressive and liberal
At times, it is said that if one is progressive and liberal, one must advocate for the right to choose to eliminate human life that has started, but has not yet been born. However, if you take the time to reflect on the meaning of progressive and liberal, you will realise that there is nothing more progressive and liberal than the safeguarding of human life.
We pray for consistency where the cherishing of life is concerned … Anyone who is begging for help because he is drowning, literally or metaphorically, should also have his or her life safeguarded.
What does it mean to be progressive? It means that you want progress; you want people to move ahead in life. I presume it means that you would want progress for everyone. A person is progressive when s/he can guarantee that the few cells that are present at the beginning of human life can continue progressing. On the contrary, whoever wants to end human life in its early stages is not progressive but regressive. It has been said correctly that the strength of a society is measured by the progress of the most vulnerable.
What does it mean to be liberal? It means that you treasure liberty, and that you do not want anyone to obstruct liberty. This implies that we should respect everyone’s liberty to develop and have a better life. When there is human life at an early stage, being liberal means allowing it to live, not eliminating it.
Today we ask the Lord to strengthen our resolve to value life and protect it from all danger. In a special way, we value the life of the most vulnerable, those without a voice, those who depend on others completely.
We pray for consistency where the cherishing of life is concerned – that is, from the moment of its conception to its natural death, and in its every stage. Anyone who is begging for help because he is drowning, literally or metaphorically, should also have his or her life safeguarded.
We pray that doctors, nurses, and those who work in the health sector, will always be faithful to their mission of upholding the value of life, as is their duty, and to do this even when it means obeying their conscience and saying ‘No’.
We pray especially for those mothers who are facing difficult situations, that they may find the help and support they need for the protection of life, and that they never end up victims of abusive systems.
We also pray for our country, that it will never succumb to the pressure against life but will be a country that accepts and appreciates every human life, creates awareness about the value of life, and has laws that protect and safeguard life.
✠ Joseph Galea-Curmi