Monday, August 10, 2015

The Sanctity of Life

God created humankind in His image, and our lives are therefore considered sacred in His eyes.  We are thus called to be and act holy as He is Holy.  

God also gave us a very sacred gift- the gift of life.  Genesis 1 says God formed us from the elements of the Earth and breathed life into us with His own Breath, in Hebrew Ruach, meaning Breath or Spirit.  Whether we understand this literally or metaphorically, it means that our lives are a sacred product of divine action.  In our fallen and flawed humanity, we may not feel or act as if we are sacred, but it is hard to escape the conclusion that, from God’s perspective, our lives are sacred, cherished, loved and honored by Him. 

But we have the God-given ability to make our own choices (again, a blessing and a sacred trust from God).  This sacred trust we call human life is therefore not always honored by us the way it is honored by God. 

This is vividly brought to the fore in our modern-day revisions to the ethics surrounding euthanasia and abortion.  On the issue of abortion, our modern revisionism is extraordinarily blatant.  We now couch our ethics in terms of the rights of the pregnant mother at the expense of the rights of the yet unborn child, and more to the point, to the rights of God as the Giver of the sacred life of that yet unborn child.  We also couch our ethical decisions on whether the unborn child is independently viable, as if in God’s eyes any of us are ever physically or spiritually independent of Him or each other.  The decisions surrounding abortion have become homocentric rather than theocentric. 

As the People of God, our understanding as to how we are to honor the sacredness of life remains unchanged.  We strive, albeit imperfectly, to honor the sanctity of human life the way God honors it.

            Father Rob