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​Hope always keeps us going, says archbishop at Respect Life Mass

November 03, 2020 | posted by Today's Catholic newspaper

Topics: Archbishop, In the Press, Breaking News

Hope always keeps us going, says archbishop at Respect Life Mass

God always leads us out of sorrow and distress, listeners were reminded by Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, MSpS, at a Respect Life Mass on October 11 at San Fernando Cathedral.

The archbishop explained that our lives are neither a monotonous and horizontal path, nor a fun ride destined to a catastrophic nonexistence. “Deep in our hearts we keep a constant aspiration to a greater happiness. The certainty that we will eventually die does not reduce our desire for boundless happiness. What we want is not an everlasting avoidance of death, but an absolute fulfilment that we know is impossible to achieve in this life,” he said. “Our experience already points to love as the solution to this inner contradiction. Selfless service of others is the key to a kind of fulfilment that helps us forget about our own suffering and give meaning to it. However, we keep struggling to love fully.”

In 1995, Pope Saint John Paul II proclaimed the encyclical “The Gospel of Life” (Evangelium Vitae), making a “precise and vigorous reaffirmation of the value of human life and its inviolability,” and appealing “to each and every person, in the name of God: respect, protect, love and serve life, every human life! Only in this direction will you find justice, development, true freedom, peace and happiness!”

He signed that document on the Feast of the Incarnation, the commemoration of the central event of history, when the God of life and of love took flesh in the womb of Mary of Nazareth.

Pope Francis has said that the Incarnation of Our Lord marks the beginning of the great revolution of tenderness.

“God reached out to us with infinite tenderness to make us sharers in his own mission to build a culture of encounter, which is the foundation of the culture of life about which Saint John Paul II preached,” Archbishop Gustavo emphasized.

Pope Francis also reminds us that “The Gospel offers us the chance to live life on a higher plane, but with no less intensity: ‘Life grows by being given away, and it weakens in isolation and comfort. Indeed, those who enjoy life most are those who leave security on the shore and become excited by the mission of communicating life to others.’”

The archbishop then quoted from St. Paul: “I can do all things in him who strengthens me. Still, it was kind of you to share in my distress. My God will fully supply whatever you need, in accord with his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”

The Missionary of the Holy Spirit described life is a feast of truth, goodness and beauty, saying, “We await the blessed hope, the appearance of the glory of the Great God and of our Savior Jesus Christ…” (Timothy 2:13).

He concluded by reading from the Psalms: “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose; beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul. … Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage. … Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come.”

The San Antonio prelate concluded by praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe, “Mother of the truest God who is the giver of life,” to make all sharers in the mission of Her Son to give life to the world.