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Respect For Human life

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Respect For Human life

It is time, in the words of Deuteronomy (30:19), to “Choose life so that you and your descendants may live …” because these days we are losing our respect for human life mercilessly and destroying humanity officially as violence turn out to be the only option of all political problems. Most of human are bearing in mind the promises of a new world lost in lethal conflict violence and renewed war. A world heartbreaking beyond the Cold War is caught up in mere bloody ethnic, tribal and political conflict. The denial of full humanness in others and the cruelty and suffering that accompanies in crippled minds cause destruction. Therefore, harming human life is becoming the fashion nowadays and thus, what is bad becomes the new good. It doesn’t have to be this way. However, it is achievable to turn away from violence and build communities of greater peace and equity. It just begins with a clear and understandable conviction: respect for life. Respect for life is not just a printed motto or a jingle or a program or a slogan; it is a fundamental moral principle flowing from our human teachings on the dignity of the human person. It is an advance to life that values people over things and own territories.

The disintegration of family life, media influences, growing substance abuse, the availability of so many weapons, and the rise of gangs and increasing youth violence are multiple forces injected in our human culture to be violent. Why violence is acceptable as a solution to problems even though it firstly begins with anger, intolerance, impatience, unfair judgments and aggression; and who decides that war is meant to maintain peace among others? And if Violence is considered as only solution then it is the clearest sign of our failures as human. We as human have to address all togetherdeclining the increasing availability of deadly weapons, the lure of gangs and the slavery of addiction, the absence of real opportunity, budget cuts unfavorably affecting the poor, and the loss of moral values. Many people keep saying that we are in bad times and hard time so we have to either bear with or to go- tit for tat, but why we never think that we are the times if we live well; such as we are, such are the times.

Peacekeeping and peacemaking are the most pressing and urgent priorities for understanding of a new world society. Respect for human life is the early point for confronting a culture of violenceand war. The Catholic Church cannot close the eyes to the moral and human costs of so much violence in our midst. Respect for life must lead the choices we make as individuals and as a human society that is what we do and won’t do as human, what we value and consume as human, whom we admire and whose example we follow as human, what we support and what we oppose as human. We always believe that the Catholic community brings strong certainty and essential experience which can enrich the international dialogue on how best to overcome the violence that is tearing our humanity apart. We also know these expressions are not enough because only utterances cannot stop weapons; statements will not contain hatred. Yet commitment, coming together and conversion can change us and together we can change our thoughts, words and deeds for the betterment of all human who really respect for human life.

According to the Bible, Malchus was the servant of the Jewish High Priest Caiaphas who participated in the arrest of Jesus and one of Jesus’ disciples, Simon Peter, being armed with a sword, cut off the servant’s ear in an attempt to prevent the arrest of Jesus. Another time, when the Samaritans rejected the disciples’ message and refused to welcome Jesus for he was heading for Jerusalem, the disciples James and John asked Jesus to call down fire and destroy the unwilling recipients. But he corrected them by saying, “You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them.” (Luke 9:55). In both cases, Jesus taught his disciples that the sovereignty of God does not answer in earthly violence but with the grace of God. Jesus taught them to put down the sword of metal causes destruction and to draw the sword of the right spirit instead which causes respect for human life. The term “spirit” sometimes indicates as a sign of the inward motions, propensities, and inclinations of the soul, influenced either from the Holy Spirit of God, or from the evil spirit.

It is God’s love, wisdom and commandments that show us the way to live as human heal and reconcile with others. As followers of Christ we require a mind through which Christ thinks, a heart through which Christ loves, a voice through which Christ speaks, and a hand through which Christ helps. We firmly believe that our faith in Jesus Christ bestows on us the Christian values, vision and hope that can bring a significant measure of peace to our hearts, our homes, our neighbours, our nations and our world at large. Christ came not to destroy human souls, but to bring the means of salvation and eternal happiness; if they reject these, and perish, their destruction is of themselves. Our Christian faith challenges each of us to examine how we can contribute in midst of war to human ethic which cherishes human life, puts people before things, and values humane, kindness and compassion over anger, vengeance, violence and war. These humane acts and catholic attitudes are not the same as abusive behaviour or physical attacks, but they create a climate where peace prospers and violence suffers.

St. Angela Merici once said, “Disorder in society is the result of disorder in the family.” Our society and human families need both more personal responsibility and broader social responsibility to overcome the plague of violence and war in our dealings, and the lack of peace in our hearts. We must realize and accept that peace is most fundamentally a gift from God given to all human. Family prayers and small Christian community gathering teach us to be united in God, the Father and to let us embrace ourselves as a Catholics to be “communicators of hope and peace.” Finally, it’s our uttermost responsibility to be firm in a moral and fair frameworkthat call us to practice and promote virtue, generosity, forgiveness, responsibility, social justice, concern for others, and economic fairness, moreover, to a new commitment to solidarity and common good. Let us hear and act with new urgency on the words of Jesus: “Blessed are the peacemakers; they shall be called children of God.”

May our Lord Jesus grant wisdom to world leaders, free them from selfish ambition, eliminate all violence and war, and thus, bring unity to troubled nations. Amen!

+ In Christ, 

Father Henry Peter MSFS,

Sacred Heart Church,

Bhusawal, Maharashtra, India.

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