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Fr. Frank Pavone: The Pro-Life Meaning of the Ascension

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your life is only as safe as the life of the preborn child.

As a church we know the dignity of our humanity belongs on Gods throne with him and not in a medical waste dumpster. The conviction, renewed by the Ascension, that the destiny of the human person is to be in the heights of heaven, is clearly incompatible with allowing human persons to be thrown in the garbage, or looking the other way in silence when that occurs.

Fr Frank Pavone is the National Director of Priests for Life

Fr Frank Pavone is the National Director of Priests for Life

STATEN ISLAND, New York (Catholic Online, Priests for Life) - The wonderful Solemnity of the Ascension is once again upon us -- and it speaks volumes to our commitment as a Church to defend the unborn from abortion.
   
At the core of the Ascension is the truth about our human nature being exalted to the heights of heaven. It is a powerful feast on which to preach the sanctity of human life and to renew the people of Christ in their pro life commitment.
   
Jesus prayed on the night before he died, Father, give me the glory I had with you before the world began. How is the glory he has in the Ascension different from the glory he had before the world began?

He had glory from eternity but now, it differs only in that he has it in a human nature. He first exalted our human nature when he became human.

The Second Vatican Council declared, By his incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every human being (Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 22).

Human life was sacred already, by its creation; now, God Himself begins existing in a human nature and there is a new marriage between humanity and divinity.
   
Not only is there a marriage between human nature and divinity but God makes his dwelling place in the Body of Christ. These reflections give new meaning to the familiar passage, Where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in their midst.

Why two or three? Isn't God present even when one is alone, or when nobody is there? Certainly, He is. But where two or three are present, they can give themselves away to each other in love, and that is the presence and image of God, who does the same.
   
Yet our Lord's words here constitute another foundation for the assertion that human life is the 'place' where God manifests himself, where we meet him and enter into communion with him" (Evangelium Vitae, 38).
   
The exaltation of the human body and the collective body means Jesus shares  His glory with us.  It is now shared by all, rich and poor, sick and healthy, born and unborn. Our humanity has been taken to the heights of heaven, fulfilling the destiny God intended for human life from the beginning.

Revelation 3:21 declares, To the one who gains the victory, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne. Gods plan for us is not just that we will gather around the throne or fall down before the throne, but that we will sit with him on the throne!

And we are already there thanks to faith, baptism, and the risen life of Christ within us. The Ascension is the exaltation of humanity. It is the taking up of humanity to the throne.
   
This is why abortion is such a contradiction of the Christian Gospel.

As a church we know the dignity of our humanity belongs on Gods throne with him and not in a medical waste dumpster. The conviction, renewed by the Ascension, that the destiny of the human person is to be in the heights of heaven, is clearly incompatible with allowing human persons to be thrown in the garbage, or looking the other way in silence when that occurs.
   
As members of one body, we are responsible for all the other members of it. We will be condemned if we do not treat the preborn as our brother or sister. Many oppose abortion and would never have one, but they then ask, Who am I to interfere with a woman's choice to abort?

Who are you? You are a brother, a sister of that child in the womb!

Who am I to interfere with her choice? You are a human being who has enough decency to stand up and say NO! when you see another human being about to be killed.

Who am I to interfere with her choice? You are a person who has enough wisdom to realize that injustice to one human being is injustice to every human being, and that your life is only as safe as the life of the preborn child.

Who am I to interfere with her choice? You are a follower of the One who said, Whatsoever you do to the least of my brothers, you do to Me.

Do we not believe that if we allow a person to die of starvation, that we are allowing Christ to die of starvation? Do we not believe that if we leave the sick untended, that we are leaving Christ untended?

Must we not then also believe that whenever a child in the womb is ripped apart, burned, crushed, and then thrown away, that Christ is ripped apart, burned, crushed, and thrown away? It is Christ in the womb!
   
When we stand up for life we stand up for Him! The Resurrection and Ascension speak of the victory of Life over death. They are not only about Christ but about us. The entire Church is the Body of Christ.

As we pray on the Ascension, where He has gone, we hope to follow (Preface of the Ascension). We, too, are called to share an everlasting life, in body and soul, in the company of Christ and all who are saved. I will raise him up on the last day (Jn. 6:54).

May our celebration of the Ascension, then, increase our determination to save the lives of the youngest children, those still in the womb, who are also called to this wondrous destiny.

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Priests for Life is the world's largest Catholic organization focused exclusively on ending abortion. Fr Frank Pavone serves as the National Director.

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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2019
Young People and the Example of Mary.
That young people, especially in Latin America, follow the example of Mary and respond to the call of the Lord to communicate the joy of the Gospel to the world.


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