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Beatitudes and Baptism - part 7 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Fones   
Tuesday, 08 July 2008 15:29
Reflections made in preparation for a homily at the baptism of a child...

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
How blessed are those who are able to give love where it has not been earned. And how hard to do. Yet time and again, Jesus tells his disciples to learn from him, to do what he does. He forgives his opponents, even from the cross. He loves them, even as they hate him. Perhaps at no other moment in the scriptures do we come face to face so completely, so incarnately, with the assertion that, "God is love and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him" 1Jn 4:16. And we have the temerity to pray, perhaps many times a day, "Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us"?

The child I am baptizing was not among the 1.5 million aborted each year in this country, thank God. She was, and is, loved by her parents, although she's done nothing to earn it. She has already known mercy.

In my reading of pro-life literature, and in my listening to pro-life proponents, I hear a great mercy for children aborted and, often, for their mothers, especially in movements like Project Rachel. But often, in that same literature or conversations, I read or hear of our brothers and sisters involved in the abortion industry regarded as though they were no longer human. We rightly repudiate them for dehumanizing the children they destroy. We must not be guilty of the same offense. Rather, we must show even abortionists mercy. What might that look like?

What if, in our desire for the end of abortion, we considered not only the ending of the murder of children, but the rescue of those in the abortion industry from grave sin? If we are to be motivated by charity, and if we truly desire to be agents of God's mercy, then we will consider not only those who lose their temporal lives, but those whose immortal souls are in danger of being eternally lost.

St. Dominic was often overheard by his brothers during late night vigils crying out, "Lord, what will become of sinners?" It was as much a sign of Christ's mercy flowing through Dominic as it was of his sanctity. Do I desire to be as holy, and as merciful?

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