Who are the least among us, the ones with whom Christ so identifies? The unborn, the children, the disabled, the poor, the weak (often women) – anyone whose life counts for little in the eyes of the world.
But they are treasures to God, because in them, he sees the image of his suffering Son. Jesus still suffers because of what we do to him every day, when we treat others with disdain, indifference, neglect, anger and violence -- whenever we fail to love.
Headlines from the news jump to my mind (and make me tremble at the implications):
-a Connecticut man attempts to evict his own mother from her home on her 98th birthday.
-a photo (WARNING – THIS IS GRAPHIC) is released on the Internet of 23-year-old Chinese woman, Feng Jianmei, with her bloody, dead baby, after authorities in China forcibly aborted her child in the 7 month of pregnancy.
-a 14-year-old girl with Down’s Syndrome was imprisoned for violating Pakistan’s blasphemy laws because she had in her possession (she apparently picked these up in the trash she was rummaging through) burned pages of the Muslim holy book, and the 11-year-old Christian boy whose body was found tortured, mutilated and burned in Pakistan’s Punjab province.
-And the story of 11-year-old Zoe Griffin, told below in her own words (taken from a blog in the National Catholic Register.)
“Hi, I’m Zoe. Something happened Friday night that a friend wanted me to blog about. I don’t have Facebook or Twitter or anything like that so I’m borrowing my mom’s page for now.
“What happened was a pro-life rally… Lily, Bella, and I started to write pro-life statements with chalk on the sidewalks when some pro-abortionists came. They were holding signs and chanting: “A baby’s not a baby till it comes out, that’s what birthdays are all about!” They were blowing whistles and jumping around acting like 5-year-old children. I was so sad that these people were so blinded I started crying.
Then we started laying down the flowers all across the sidewalk. When we finished, the line of carnations was probably a mile long. A pro-life woman let me hold a crucifix that she had. I started clutching it close to my heart. My knees were shaking, so were my hands.
“The pro-abortionists turned to us and started pointing at different people, saying, “You’re a person! You’re a person! Fetuses are not!” Then the woman saw me crying and said,” You are making this girl cry with your bull____”. I couldn’t stand any more of those lies. …I screamed, “THEY ARE NOT THE ONES MAKING ME CRY! YOU ARE! WITH YOUR DARK HEARTS, YOUR DARK MINDS TURNED AGAINST GOD!” …
“On the way home I felt sorry that I yelled at those people. I told my mom, and she said, “Do you know why you feel that way? It’s because you have a heart. You have a conscience, and you know what’s right and what’s wrong. Those people attacked you like that because they don’t have a heart.”
I will never, ever forget what happened last night. I had a dream that night that they all converted to pro-life activists. I hope that dream becomes a reality.”
I agree Zoe. We all need to prayer for grace, and make an effort to better recognize the dignity of each human person we meet, because in them, we meet our Lord.