Today's Gospel (Mark 3:1-6):
'Jesus went again into a synagogue, and there was a man there who had a withered hand. And they were watching him to see if he would cure him on the sabbath day, hoping for something to use against him. He said to the man with the withered hand, ‘Stand up out in the middle!’ Then he said to them, ‘Is it against the law on the sabbath day to do good, or to do evil; to save life, or to kill?’ But they said nothing. Then, grieved to find them so obstinate, he looked angrily round at them, and said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ He stretched it out and his hand was better. The Pharisees went out and at once began to plot with the Herodians against him, discussing how to destroy him.'
It is appropriate that this Gospel passage should appear on this day. Today is the day when abortion was effectively legalised across the United States following the landmark ruling in the case of Roe v Wade in 1973.
Thousands of people will descend on the US capital Washington DC today protesting against abortion and arguing for the cause of life.
Jesus also makes an argument for the cause of life in today's Gospel passage. He makes the distinction between good and evil and then draws parallels with these terms, suggesting that to save a life is to do good and killing is to do evil. This should be obvious to everyone. Yet given the number of deaths as a result of abortion, this is clearly not the case.
Human beings are dying every day in our world because society has made them so easy to dispense with. How can this be happening? What are we doing to our children? In the UK we afford more protection to baby birds as they grow in their eggs than we do to unborn human beings. And this is no exaggeration.
Jesus, in front of the Pharisees in the synagogue, was not afraid to heal the man with the withered hand. He was not afraid to speak up for life in the face of criticism. Today, thousands of people will march for life and speak up for it as Jesus did. Each day in our world there is a growing number of young people standing up for the cause of life. In the UK and Ireland organisations such as Abort67, SPUC, and Youth Defence are standing up for little children who just never get the chance. The chance to live. If we cannot stand up for that, then what can we stand for?
If you are able, please spare a prayer today (or even better, a Rosary) for those unborn children. Spare a prayer for their mothers, their fathers, and their families. Spare a prayer for the medical staff who are involved in abortions. Spare a prayer for our governors, that they may be moved to give life a chance. And spare a prayer for those who are marching in Washington and who, across the world, are working hard to fight for justice for those little ones who have done no wrong.
In addition, if you feel compelled to get involved in one of the above groups or other pro-life campaigns then please do so! You will find you are not alone. The worldwide pro-life campaign is on a charge and it is growing by the day. We will win this. We will win the right to life for the little ones.
Jesus, in today's passage, has given us a choice: we can either save life, or we can kill it. What is your choice?