Photo: Br. Jim McCormack, MIC
By Fr. Jim McCormack, MIC (Jan 23, 2009)
Several Marians and friends were on hand on the Mall in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Jan. 22, to participate in the 35th annual March for Life. They joined with more than 100,000 other peaceful protesters to show their support for the legal protection of life in the womb, protection that was denied by the 1973 Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade.
Although temperatures were only in the high thirties, it was a beautiful, sunny day, which seemed to match the mood of all who attended.
Two days after the inauguration of President Barack Obama, a man who supports abortion rights, one might have expected pro-life supporters to feel discouraged. But the reality was quite the opposite. Attendees filled the streets, singing songs and hymns, and praying the Rosary and the Chaplet of The Divine Mercy. Speakers prior to the March encouraged everyone not to waiver in their prayers and in their support of life. Brother Thaddaeus Lancton, MIC, a seminarian, commented that he felt a sense of hope.
One particular sign of hope was the vast number of young people who took part in the March. It seemed that a majority of the marchers were under the age of 30. Beforehand, a youth rally and Mass filled the Verizon Center in downtown D.C. to overflowing capacity, and several nearby churches offered additional space. Such a tremendous turnout of young people is a great sign of hope for the future of the Church and for the pro-life movement in particular.
Only eight months ago, Pope Benedict XVI visited Washington, D.C. The message he preached to our nation, in fact the theme of his entire pilgrimage, was "Christ Our Hope." While many in our country today seem to be placing their hope in political change, the Holy Father's message is a reminder that Christ is the ultimate Source of our hope.
That message is a consolation to all Christians at this time. No matter what struggles or apparent setbacks we may face, whether political, economic, physical, or spiritual, our hope is grounded ultimately not in a mere human being but in God, who is always with us, and in His love and mercy, which is always providing for us.
Therefore, we can confidently say, "Jesus, I trust in You!" And it is for this reason that we Christians are a people of hope.
Brother Jim McCormack, MIC, is a seminarian living at the Marian Scholasticate in Washington, D.C.