Ultimately the pro-life cause rests on a sentiment. If it can be reduced to a linear argument, I haven’t seen it. Charlie Gard’s parents are heroic not for insisting on “reasonable” (whatever that would be in this case) medical treatment for their child. They are extraordinary because against such enormous odds they have set out to preserve the flame of life still flickering in his fragile, tiny frame. We rightly cheer them for asserting their parental rights against the overreach of the medical establishment and the state. They do not, however, assert those rights as an end in itself. In their view, apparently, as in mine (and yours?), the end in itself is life itself.
Our Radio Messages
The images today in the first reading and the Gospel are about what we humans do with our lives, both personally and as a people or as a community. We mess things up and we reject God and His ways. The image used to show that God sees what is happening is that of God’s anger—but we must remember that it is God who is upset with us for choosing against Him. God always loves us unconditionally and even accepts our rejection of Him. God cannot change us unless we choose to let God change us. Sometimes when our lives are a mess, all we can do is ask God: “Help me.” That is enough. But when we blame the mess on God and reject God, then God cannot help us unless we have some openness to Him.