The Inauguration and the March for Life: A Message for America


Just yesterday, I received the homily of a pastor here in my home diocese that spoke powerfully of the strange juxtaposition of the two national events happening this week. Obviously, as of this writing, the first of these events, the presidential inauguration, has already occurred, but when we compare it to the second of these events, the March for Life commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision we could be pardoned for becoming dizzy. However, with his words below, this pastor cut through the media fanfare and got right to the importance and meaning of both these events and the significance of having them both in one week. His words struck me with a directness and clarity not often found in homilies and I thought it was a message that more than just us select few, who either heard it in person or were privileged to read in email, should hear. So, here below is the entire unedited homily:

It will be a very eventful week in the nation’s capital – a week of tremendously sharp contrasts, as two opposing events occur at the beginning and end of the week.  Tomorrow, at the beginning of the week, we will be observing the second inauguration of a President who has shown himself to be unflaggingly and aggressively pro-abortion {there are numerous examples of this, including his appearance at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser, indicating he supports their agenda}.

As is the custom for the office of President, he will spend the day with great fanfare.   Chauffeured around in limousines with endless press coverage and fine foods and wining and dining and speeches about how much he will do for the nation.

Contrast that with what will happen at the end of the week, on Thursday and Friday.  With almost no media publicity whatsoever, because of their self-imposed blackout, hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pro life people from around the nation will converge on Washington to observe with tremendous sorrow the 40th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized the killing of children in the womb for virtually any reason at virtually any time in pregnancy.  To pray, to march, to witness.

They will come not in limousines and eating fine foods, but usually on uncomfortable buses, having traveled all night with little chance to eat anything but a bite of fast food grabbed at a truck stop, or a brown bag lunch.  The speeches they will hear and give will not be self-congratulatory ones, but ones demanding justice and protection for the unborn– in the proud tradition of those who worked to abolish slavery and to establish civil rights for African-Americans and others.  They will come not to advance their own power, not to provide publicity and photo opportunities for themselves, but rather to stand for the dignity of each human person, created in the image and likeness of God, and his or her inalienable right to life.  For the most part they are Christians.  Not surprisingly, a huge percentage are Catholic because the one true Church of Christ will always speak boldly for the truth, in the tradition of the prophets, apostles and martyrs.

In just the same way as the Apostles boldly preached the truth and good news of Christ, in the face of seemingly impossible opposition, so too does these marchers in Washington.  Saints Peter and Paul came right to the heart of the Roman Empire – right under the nose of the Roman Emperor who wanted to crush Christianity, because it threatened his own power.  They gave up their lives in the process, willingly out of love for Christ.

We Americans will come to Washington to march right under the nose of a President who has shown great contempt for what the Church stands for – so much so that he has moved aggressively to take away our religious liberty.  Right under the nose of a Supreme Court that has refused to budge on reversing its activist, lawless and immoral decision of 40 years ago – a decision that flies in the face of the natural law.  Right under the nose of a Congress that, with a few exceptions, seems at best to give lip service to concern for the most vulnerable of life, while remaining more concerned about re-election than protecting innocent children.

Some people might claim that that is useless, a waste of time.  But Peter and Paul didn’t think what they did was a waste of time.  Because it is never a waste of time and effort to proclaim the Gospel and witness to Christ.

And that is exactly what we are doing.  Because this is not about political activism.  This is about the Gospel.  That’s very clear from today’s readings.  Life and marriage according to God’s plan are not “issues” – they are the core of what Christ came to teach and reveal to us.  When Christ comes to show the first sign of God’s glory, His first miracle, He does so at a wedding feast, a marriage feast.  This is no accident.  He is showing that at the heart of God’s glory is His plan to unite one man and one woman together in a covenant of love that reflects His covenant with us, God’s very desire to make a marriage with mankind, so that, as Isaiah the great Prophet says, God’s people will be called “His Delight” and “His Espoused.”

What’s more, just as He brought forth the fruitfulness of wine from mere water, so God’s love makes a marriage fruitful by transforming mere human love into a gift whose magnitude we can scarcely comprehend: a new, infinitely precious human life made in His own image and likeness.  In other words, God grants to a husband and wife the extraordinary privilege of becoming co-creators of new life with God Himself

Unfortunately, knowingly or not, the President and those who support his ideology attack almost every aspect of Jesus Christ’s Gospel plan for married love.  Reversing his previous claim that he supported traditional marriage, the President now actively supports the intrinsic evil of having the government attempt to recognize as marriage a relationship between homosexuals that counterfeits it.  The President radically supports simply discarding human life, God’s greatest gift to a man and a woman in marriage.  That is what abortion is – throwing away God’s gift as if it were mere waste material.  And he notoriously supports tearing apart the couple’s self-giving in love from God’s plan for procreation of children, by contraception.  Not just personally, but in his attempts to force all of us American citizens to pay for it by our taxpayer dollars, regardless of moral objections.

Really, this is not so much about the President we elected, but rather about what kind of a people we are, who would willingly elect such a President – revealing our own hard-heartedness and indifference to God’s beautiful plan for married love and family life.

Make no mistake.  The one Church of Christ recognizes all three of these as grave evils: same-sex so-called marriage, abortion, and contraception.  And will always do so.  Because they are each very radically opposed to who God created us to be and how we are meant to reflect His own divine love.  No matter how much the culture rails against the Church for speaking these truths, these are all unchangeable, because Christ Himself revealed them, and stamped these truths into our hearts.  Only our hardness of hearts can ignore what we know deep down to be true.

Our culture has lied to us.  Not just for 40 years, but even more than that.  Lied to women who were pressured into abortions, that it was no big deal.  That they would not live a life time of regret for a decision they made in emotional distress, often being taken advantage of by those who did not have their best interests – or the best interest of their children – at heart.  Most of all by Planned Parenthood, who makes untold hundreds of thousands of dollars in profit by this shameless exploitation.

Lied to us that contraception would be good for marriage, instead of the truth that it drives a wedge between husband and wife and opens the door to promiscuity and pornography and so much more societal destruction. (See Humanae Vitae).

It is now lying to us that homosexual “marriage” is about “equality” and “fairness”– instead of about fundamentally undermining an institution that Christ Himself elevated to the level of a holy sacrament.

It is up to us to expose the lies.  To speak the truth to power.  Again as Isaiah says, “For Zion’s sake, I will not be silent.  For Jerusalem’s sake, I will not be quiet until her victory shines forth like a burning torch.”  Just as St. Peter and Paul and the early Apostles refused to be silenced by the opposition of powerful government or an oppressive culture, we must never be silent either.  It is up to us to stand against the culture of death and to rebuild a culture of life.  No matter what the price.

Reading 1:  IS 62:1-5

For Zion’s sake I will not be silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not be quiet,
until her vindication shines forth like the dawn
and her victory like a burning torch.

Nations shall behold your vindication,
and all the kings your glory;
you shall be called by a new name
pronounced by the mouth of the LORD.
You shall be a glorious crown in the hand of the LORD,
a royal diadem held by your God.
No more shall people call you “Forsaken, “
or your land “Desolate, “
but you shall be called “My Delight, “
and your land “Espoused.”
For the LORD delights in you
and makes your land his spouse.
As a young man marries a virgin,
your Builder shall marry you;
and as a bridegroom rejoices in his bride
so shall your God rejoice in you.

Reading 2: 1 COR 12:4-11

Brothers and sisters:
There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; 
there are different forms of service but the same Lord;
there are different workings but the same God
who produces all of them in everyone.
To each individual the manifestation of the Spirit
is given for some benefit.
To one is given through the Spirit the expression of wisdom;
to another, the expression of knowledge according to the
same Spirit;
to another, faith by the same Spirit;
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit;
to another, mighty deeds;
to another, prophecy;
to another, discernment of spirits;
to another, varieties of tongues;
to another, interpretation of tongues.
But one and the same Spirit produces all of these,
distributing them individually to each person as he wishes.

Gospel: JN 2:1-11

There was a wedding at Canain Galilee,
and the mother of Jesus was there.
Jesus and his disciples were also invited to the wedding.
When the wine ran short,
the mother of Jesus said to him,
“They have no wine.”
And Jesus said to her,
“Woman, how does your concern affect me?
My hour has not yet come.”
His mother said to the servers,
“Do whatever he tells you.”
Now there were six stone water jars there for Jewish ceremonial washings,
each holding twenty to thirty gallons.
Jesus told the them,
“Fill the jars with water.”
So they filled them to the brim.
Then he told them,
“Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.”
So they took it. 
And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine,
without knowing where it came from
— although the servers who had drawn the water knew —,
the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him,
“Everyone serves good wine first,
and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one;
but you have kept the good wine until now.”
Jesus did this as the beginning of his signs at Cana in Galilee
and so revealed his glory,
and his disciples began to believe in him.


About Author

I am a married father of 4 who is constantly learning how to be a better dad and husband.