October 11, 2019

‘Hearts fixed on Jesus’: Archbishop Thompson urges Catholics to defend life with trust in ‘Christ Our Hope’

Jose and Nuri Ordaz, members of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, dote on their 5-month-old son Joshua during the Respect Life Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Oct. 6. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

Jose and Nuri Ordaz, members of St. John the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis, dote on their 5-month-old son Joshua during the Respect Life Mass at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis on Oct. 6. (Photo by Natalie Hoefer)

By Natalie Hoefer

Perhaps it seems odd to some: The Catholic Church designates the month of October to highlight the importance of respect for life—just one month for a cause that should have no boundaries.

But the Church understands the timelessness of this issue. According to Archbishop Charles C. Thompson, one need only look to this year’s theme for Respect Life Month for proof.

“This year’s Respect Life theme is Christ Our Hope: In Every Season of Life,” he said. “It is a theme worth contemplating beyond a single day, month or even a year. These words are meant to be embraced for a lifetime.”

The archbishop spoke these words on Oct. 6 during his homily at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis, where he served as principal celebrant for the archdiocesan Respect Life Sunday Mass.

“In Christ Our Hope we find meaning, purpose, dignity and joy in the existence of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, culminating in eternal life with God,” he continued.

Many aspects of today’s culture defy the sanctity of life. Archbishop Thompson listed several, including “abortion, gun violence, racism, opioid addiction, capital punishment, physician-assisted suicide, scapegoating immigrants, rejecting refugees, human trafficking, and the list goes on.”

He admitted that Christianity’s counter-cultural message of respect for all life from conception to natural death can be met with “trials, push back, rejection and even defeat.” But “with Christ Our Hope, we [need] not despair in the midst” of such challenges.

Strengthened by trust in this truth, all Catholics are called to “tirelessly defend the dignity of each person and the sacredness of life by means of constant prayer, witness, respect, advocacy and every effort to promote this very core principle of Catholic teaching,” he said.

“May we never lose hope, regardless of the season of life, keeping our eyes, minds and hearts fixed on Jesus. … Hope in Jesus Christ will not disappoint.”

(For ideas on observing Respect for Life Month, go to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishop’s sponsored site at www.respectlife.org/respect-life-month.) † 
   

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