Loving Your Own Life Above Others

posted Mar 22, 2012, 12:13 PM by St. Joseph Cheyenne
The Gospel of Christ is the Gospel of Life, precisely because when the “grain of wheat falls to the earth and dies, it produces much fruit.” The paradox of the Gospel of Life is that life is poured out on the world precisely when life is given away for the good of others. In Evangelium Vitae we read: “He who had come "not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many" (Mk 10:45), attains on the Cross the heights of love: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (Jn 15:13). And He died for us while we were yet sinners (cf. Rom 5:8). "In this way Jesus proclaims that life finds its centre, its meaning and its fulfillment when it is given up. "At this point our meditation becomes praise and thanksgiving, and at the same time urges us to imitate Christ and follow in His footsteps (cf. 1 Pt 2:21). "We too are called to give our lives for our brothers and sisters, and thus to realize in the fullness of truth the meaning and destiny of our existence” (EV #51). Christ is the grain of wheat that falls to the earth, but is also “lifted up from the earth” – both on the cross and in the Resurrection and Ascension. And the fruit is that He “draws all people to Himself.” We have here the powerful themes of life-giving fruitfulness and unity. The Culture of Death denies both. It embraces, through “pro-choice” rhetoric, the “loving of one’s own life” that Christ rejects in this Gospel teaching. The words “This is My body” are used with opposite meanings: “I control my life” or “I give my life.” As we approach Holy Week and meditate on the Passion, it is a perfect time to renew our commitment to give ourselves away to defend the vulnerable, particularly the most oppressed, who are the unborn and chronically ill.