Posted April 15, 2013 in The Pope's Corner:
Proclaim the Glory of Life

by Pope John Paul II.

Because we have been sent into the world as a "people for life," our proclamation of the Gospel must also become a genuine celebration for the Gospel of life….

For this to happen, we need first of all to foster in ourselves and others, a contemplative outlook.

Such an outlook arises from faith in the God of life, who has created every individual as a "wonder" (cf. Ps 139:14). It is the outlook of those who see life in its deeper meaning, who grasp its utter gratuitousness, its beauty and its invitation to freedom and responsibility.

It is the outlook of those who do not presume to take possession of reality but instead accept it as a gift, discovering in all things the reflections of the Creator and seeing in every person his living image (cf. Gen 1:27, Ps 8:5).

This outlook does not give in to discouragement when confronted by those who are sick, suffering, outcast, or dying. Instead, in all these situations, it feels challenged to find meaning, and precisely in these circumstances, it is open to perceiving in the face of every person a call to encounter, dialogue, and solidarity.

It is time for all of us to adopt this outlook, and with deep religious awe, to rediscover the ability to revere and honor every person….

Inspired by this contemplative outlook, the new people of the redeemed cannot but respond with songs of joy, praise, and thanksgiving for the priceless gift of life, for the mystery of every individual’s call to share through Christ in the life of grace and in an existence of unending communion with God our Creator and Father.

To celebrate the Gospel of life means to celebrate the God of life, the God who gives life.

We must celebrate Eternal Life, from which every other life proceeds…. It is to this that souls owe their incorruptibility, and because of this that all animals and plants live ….

Even if we should abandon Life [God himself], because of its overflowing love for man, it converts and calls us back to itself. Not only this, it promises to bring us, body and soul, to perfect life, to immortality.

It is too little to say that this Life is alive: it is the Principle of life, the Cause and sole Wellspring of life. Every living thing must contemplate it and give it praise: it is Life which overflows with life.

Like the psalmist, we, too, in our daily prayer as individuals and as a community, praise and bless God our Father who knitted us together in our mother’s womb, and saw and loved us while we were still without form (cf. Ps 139:13, 15-16).

We exclaim with overwhelming joy: I give you thanks for I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. You know me through and through (Ps 139:14).

Indeed, despite its hardships, its hidden mysteries, its suffering and its inevitable frailty, this mortal life is a most beautiful thing, a marvel ever new and moving, an event worthy of being exalted in joy and glory.

Moreover, man and his life appear to us not only as one of the greatest marvels of creation: for God has granted to man a dignity which is near to divine (Ps 8:5-6).

In every child who is born and in every person who lives or dies, we see the image of God’s glory. We celebrate this glory in every human being, a sign of the living God, an icon of Jesus Christ.

—Excerpted from the encyclical, Evangelium Vitae, The Gospel of Life, #85, 86.


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