If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, will he not also give us all things with him? (Romans 8:31)
This exhortation by Saint Paul vividly expresses the full extent of the love of God the Father and His eternal pledge of always being with us by our side. We find strength and courage in the promise of the One who destroyed death forever, “I am with you until the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) This new light scatters the darkness of fear and uncertainty. Moved by the power of hope and the knowledge of God’s profound love revealed in Christ Jesus, we remain ever determined to build a Culture of Life.
The Easter message — He is Risen! — fills every generation with a sense of astonishment and joy. It is God who gives life and receives it back again. It is God who declares that all life is precious and good. It is God who reveals the real nobility of man and woman. It is God who states poignantly in Jesus, the Risen Lord, His desire “that all might have life and have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10)
Like Saint Paul, HLI Founder Father Paul Marx made it his mission to expose and fight the threats against human life. He knew that Christ came to give everlasting life to all, and for over a quarter century he heroically traveled the world proclaiming this message. Motivated by love and truth, he established a network of pro-life missionary outposts around the world to cultivate and sustain a Culture of Life. He believed in the goodness and dignity of humanity, and was genuinely concerned about its well-being. He sought to expose the insidious lies threatening to lead humanity down the path of darkness and potential destruction. It is the reason why Blessed John Paul II called him the Apostle of Life.
It is in this reality and in response to the Easter message that Human Life International continues its efforts to defend life and family around the world. Many believe that we will never win this battle. No doubt Saint Paul faced the same mind-set and opposition; yet, he remained undeterred in his proclamation of the truth — even unto his death. In spite of the many struggles, losses and setbacks, we too remain determined to proclaim freedom from the culture of death — no matter how difficult or what it will cost. We believe that humanity can change its path if it embraces the truth about human life and its dignity.
Last Friday in his Lenten homily, Pope Francis spoke about the reality of the Evil One and the temptations every Christian faces. “We are the target of attacks by the devil because the spirit of Evil does not want our holiness, he does not want our Christian witness, and he does not want us to be Disciples of Christ.” He also said that the process of detachment from the path of Christ is gradual and, if unaddressed, steadily grows — becoming infectious within the community — seeking to spread to more and more people. The last stage is when the one who embraces evil seeks to justify himself and calm the conscience of his interior struggle, including seeking full acceptance within the community.
In the face of such overwhelming odds, it seems impossible that we will ever change the current direction. But this is not true! This is contrary to the Easter message. This is exactly what the Evil One would want us to believe so that we lose hope and faith in the promises of Jesus. If we continue to read Paul’s “Letter to the Romans” (8:31-39), we hear his definitive answer: No created thing is greater than God and His love for us!
According to Pope Francis, “For a Christian, it is part of the witness of the Gospel to protect life with courage and love in all its stages.” (April 11, 2014) The Evil One doesn’t want us to be holy; then let’s strive for holiness. He doesn’t want us to give witness to our faith; then let’s transform the culture by courageously living our Christian faith. Let’s be a thorn in the conscience of society by never cowering to political correctness nor the societal pressure to reject the truth about human life and its dignity.
May the Risen Christ grant you and your loved ones peace and joy this blessed Easter and throughout the year!