The Church, as a voice of the Gospel, proclaims the sacredness of all human life. Everyone created by God is fashioned in God’s image and has Divine DNA at the center of their soul. God never leaves what God creates but always remains intimately bound to what he has given form. Everyone has a place and because they have received the gift of Divine Blessing, nobody deserves to feel inferior, unworthy, unwanted, unclean or marginalized. Even the most broken of souls has a place. We, the Body of Christ, have the privilege and responsibility to give voice to the voiceless. The cries of the little one in his or her mother’s womb are just as sacred as the cries of one who is homeless and hungry. The migrant deserves our attention as much as the forgotten elderly and even the prisoner, with a heart hardened by anger and resentment, deserves respect and dignity.
The Gospel of Life is often hard to swallow, and we would rather keep those we consider unclean, different or unfixable in a place by themselves. It is hard to see them with us, but they deserve to be. There is far too much violence in this world and the result of that violence is the assault on human life. Many are forced to leave the place they call home in search of safer ground, finding few if any along the way who will help them. How different today’s Gospel story would be if Jesus gave in to what was politically correct at that time. The leper would have been turned away and a soul, already beaten down by disease and fear, would have experienced an even deeper wound. Jesus wouldn’t have captured much attention from anyone, nor would he have mirrored the Father’s compassion and love.
Where do we stand with all of this? Do we at least understand that God’s vision is often in conflict with the vision put forth in our world and even the one we advance ourselves? There is no doubt that it is incredibly challenging to find a place for everyone at the table. This challenge is compounded when the systems of operation and structure that are so ingrained in us affirm power and privilege rather than inclusivity and justice. Everything really goes askew when the powerful begin to control who is entitled to wholeness and inclusion, and greed becomes a driving force. Prejudice and entitlement raise their ugly heads and we find ourselves with quite a mess. It’s time to admit that things have been a mess for a very long time. The mess needs to be healed, not by erasing it but by allowing God to touch it and make it whole. We need to bring God back to the center of life where God belongs. There are no easy solutions to the world’s dilemmas. But, knowing that wholeness, healing, and dignity are worthy pursuits, we can more confidently labor to achieve God’s vision.