March 21, 2012 - Wednesday of the Fourth Week of Lent.

Today's Readings

“Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?” How I wish this were a rhetorical question. Of course, we know that it is a real question and that the answer is yes. There are mothers all over the world who forget their infants, who are without tenderness for the child of their womb. Millions of children are murdered each year in our country with the permission of their mothers. Some mothers may be honestly confused. Some mothers may believe the irrational lie that the humanity of their child depends on the child’s location. It is difficult to believe though that millions of otherwise rational people could hold such an irrational belief. In truth, most of these murders happen because of selfishness.

Let us not be deceived. The selfishness that has led to 100 million dead children in our country is so pervasive in our culture that even if we stand up for life and protest against the horrific crime, the selfishness at the heart of the crime lives in our hearts too. If I try to express the selfishness in a phrase it is: “I deserve what I want.” Abortion is not the problem. It is one symptom of the real problem: selfishness. We get an idea in our head of how our life ought to go, and anything that stands in the way of this dream must die.

The cure to selfishness is faith, hope, and love. If this world were all we had, we might be justified in holding on to our little idea of happiness even at the expense of others, but we have something else, we have the promise of God: “I will never forget you.” If we believe this promise, we will have hope. Hope lets us see this world not as it seems, the end-all of our life, but as it is, a short training exercise. After 40 trillion years in heaven, will it matter whether we got to go to prom or college or got the job we wanted? No, none of this will matter. If we see according to hope rather than fear, we will be able to love. What does it mean to waste 20 years and care for a child? Why should we be afraid of wasting our whole life serving others and never getting what we wanted? When we believe in God’s love, we hope in him and not in this world, only then are we free to love without restriction.