Matthew, Mark, Luke and John agree. When the Son of God came into the world He was not warmly received.
There was a saying in Israel: “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” (Jn 1:46) Yet it was precisely there – to Nazareth – that God sent His holy messenger “the angel Gabriel” to address the woman chosen to be the Mother of Jesus – and Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit there in Nazareth. Yes, the salvation of humanity comes out of Nazareth!
Years later Jesus would explain that “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Mt 8:20, also Lk 9:57) Yet it is true, that the Unborn Son of man laid His head to rest within the womb of His mother for nine sacred months! Her womb, like her heart was full of the love of God!
The Lord told us also: “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.” (Mk 6:4, also Lk 4:24). And yet when Mary (and her unborn Child) arrived at the home of her cousin Elizabeth (who was six months pregnant with John the Baptist), Unborn Jesus was warmly received by Elizabeth and her unborn son John who leaped in the womb for joy!
After spending three months with Elizabeth (and John…unborn, then finally born), Mary returned to Nazareth. “He came to his own home, and his own people received him not” (Jn 1:11).
So, we see that in the initial months of the Incarnation, the Son of God was lovingly welcomed and received by two women and an unborn baby: Mary, Elizabeth and unborn John the Baptist. The prophets had spoken of “a remnant” of faithful Israelites – here were three faithful ones, waiting for the prayers of their ancestors to be answered.
Filed under: Inspirational Pro-life leaders
The Rev. Walter Hoye, who was convicted of violating Oakland’s ‘bubble law’ and served 18 days in prison, is particularly concerned about the high number of abortions among African American women.
Today we would like to feature two outstanding African-American clergymen who are courageously standing up for the rights of unborn children in America. We encourage visitors to our blog to take a few minutes to read the links we are providing on these two great inspirational men.
Reverend Walter Hoye, a Baptist minister, was recently imprisoned for peacefully praying and protesting in front of an abortion facility in Oakland California. His comments about the current situation in America are very insightful. Read these comments and others about his amazing 18 days in prison and his prison visit by the new Catholic Bishop of Oakland, Bishop Salvatore Cordileone.
Father John Raphael, SSJ speaking at ND Response Rally
Father John Raphael, SSJ (a graduate of Notre Dame University, who is still active with the ND community) gave a powerful pro-life speech at the ND Response rally on May 17th, 2009, at Notre Dame University. This Josephite priest, is a great pro-life leader. He is the principal of St. Augustine High School in New Orleans. This high school was recently described by the New Orleans Times-Picayune as “a seedbed of black leadership in New Orleans”. We are big fans of the Josephite Order of priests who organize a large enthusiastic contingent for the January 22 March for Life in Washington every year. See below for links relating to Father John, the Josephite Order and St. Augustine H.S. :
With the stoning of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr “a great persecution arose against the church in Jerusalem” and “Saul laid waste the church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison” (Act 8:1,3). Paul got authorization from the High Priest to go to other cities and round about Christians, so he set out for Damascus. The story of his conversion is well known. A light flashes around him, he falls to the ground and he and his companions hear a voice: “’Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ And he said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And he said, ‘I am Jesus who you are persecuting…’” (Acts 9:1-5).
It has frequently been noted that Saul was persecuting Christians (or as they were called back then, followers of ‘the Way’). So Saul, we assume was surprised by the question posed to him; “…why do you persecute me?”…”me” as it turned out being “Jesus”. Saul probably did not think he was persecuting “Jesus” who he thought to be merely a dead controversial rabbi. Yet, it is revealed to him that in persecuting followers of ‘the Way’ he indeed is directly persecuting Jesus.
Today, in a very different set of circumstances, we see a worldwide persecution of unborn babies…an unrelenting persecution. The persecutors all have legal authorization to do their deadly deeds, in fact, in some quarters many of them are considered heroes (just as Paul probably was in his zealous roundup of defenseless Christians). These unborn children – each on his or her ‘Way’ to being born – are each personally identified with Jesus. Millions of our fellow citizens would be shocked if they heard the words from Unborn Jesus calling them by name and asking them: “Why do you persecute me?” But we have similar words from Jesus in the New Testament: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me…” (Mt 18:5) And “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).
Many abortionists and women who have had abortions (and men involved with abortion) have had their own conversion on the road to Damascus when each, in his or her own way, have heard Jesus personally calling them and asking “Why do you persecute me?” And they have become inspired and eloquent defenders of the unborn, following in the footsteps of St. Paul. Let us continue to pray for those who support and promote abortion, just as St. Stephen prayed for Saul and his misguided companions (Acts 7:60).