THE SERVANT GENERAL
THE CULTURE OF LIFE
Today’s readings: Acts 5:27-33, Psalm 34:2-20,
We are called to choose life. Life is God’s most fundamental
gift. Choosing life that is from Him, and consequently looking
to God’s plan for our lives, brings us to live out our
covenant. When we do so, we can look forward to an abundant
life, a life of prosperity.
among you loves life, takes delight in prosperous days?”
(Ps 34:13). All of us! We cherish life that is God’s
gift, and we look forward to living out our lives according
to the fullness and abundance that God has already destined
us for. But this does not just happen. God of course wants
it. If we ourselves want it, then we need to live our lives
according to God’s ways.
We look to Jesus who is the way and the truth and the life.
we live the truth. “Keep your tongue from evil, your
lips from speaking lies.” (Ps 34:14). Anti-lifers regularly
lie or twist the truth. Pro-lifers must speak and proactively
proclaim the truth.
we follow the way of God. “Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.” (Ps 34:15). We do not conform
to the ways of the world, that of secularism, consumerism,
hedonism. We do not approve of the evil acts of abortion,
contraception, same-sex unions. Rather, we fight for life.
We seek to make the womb a zone of peace.
we can experience life as God intends. Then we will experience
the reality that “those who seek the Lord lack no good
thing.” (Ps 34:11b). All good things that come from
God are available to us. Now that is abundance.
The truth, the way and the life of God point to justice in
the world. Justice is giving to the other person what is his
due. The greatest victims of injustice today are the innocent
unborn who are murdered in the womb. This is the greatest
injustice, depriving the innocent and defenseless of the most
fundamental gift of God.
we live the truth, we must speak the truth. Abortion is murder.
Reproductive health (RH) is abortion. Active homosexuality
is immoral. ObamaCare is an assault against faith. When we
speak the truth, we can expect the forces of evil to react
vigorously. Authorities will pass laws against so-called hate
speech. “We gave you strict orders (did we not?) to
stop teaching in that name.” (Acts 5:28a). If we persist,
then we can be charged, arrested, fined, jailed, or worse.
then should we do? We do as the apostles did. We must say
in reply, “We must obey God rather than men.”
(Acts 5:29). This can mean civil disobedience. This means
exposing ourselves to the full force of the law. Of course
this posture will only enrage the enemy. “When they
heard this, they became infuriated and wanted to put them
to death.” (Acts 5:33). So we follow in the footsteps
of Jesus and the apostles who themselves were arrested, incarcerated,
beaten and ultimately martyred.
should not deter us. We have Jesus to turn to, one who already
went through it all. He knows what we have to endure. He provides
us the help and strength we need. “In my misfortune
I called, the Lord heard and saved me from all distress.”
(Ps 34:7). Whatever happens, we can look to our God for deliverance.
“Many are the troubles of the just, but the Lord delivers
from them all.” (Ps 34:20).
As we choose life, we are called to uphold life. Ultimately
it is about turning to and choosing Jesus who is the life.
We put our faith in him. We follow what he tells us to do,
including fighting for justice in a darkened world where the
culture of death predominates. We look to an abundant life
here and now, as we look to fullness of life in the hereafter.
“Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life”
there is a downside. The reality is that “whoever disobeys
the Son will not see life” (Jn 3:36b). We must follow
the way of Jesus, we must speak his truth, and we must live
his very life. We are to be in awe of him and give him the
worship that is his due. We must walk the path of holiness.
“Fear the Lord, you holy ones” (Ps 34:10a). When
we do, then again we can look forward to God’s favor,
and experiencing a full life, for “nothing is lacking
to those who fear him.” (Ps 34:10b).
this life we are witnesses to Jesus, called to obey him, empowered
by his Spirit. “We are witnesses of these things, as
is the holy Spirit that God has given to those who obey him.”
(Acts 5:32). The Holy Spirit empowers us, helps us to endure
and persevere, guides us in the way of truth, emboldens us
to defend life, sustains us through adversity. And here is
the good news: God “does not ration his gift of the
Spirit.” (Jn 3:34b). We can have the fullness of the
strength of the Holy Spirit. We will have the fullness of