Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 7, 2007
Pro-life movement urged to keep the faith
We are stewards of life – bishop
By GLEN ARGAN
The pro-life movement should persevere to the end in the knowledge that God has the final word, Bishop Richard Smith said in a talk to pro-life priests.
"People of the pro-life movement must never, ever give up, never lose hope because the last word is God's and that last word is life," Smith said. "That word, as shown in the resurrection of Jesus, is the definitive and ultimate victory over all sources and causes of death."
His comments came in an October 2005 speech on the Eucharist as the Sacrament of Life to Priests for Life Canada.
Gift of self
At the Last Supper, "Jesus linked the gift of the transformed bread and wine with the gift of self that he was about to accomplish on the cross," he said.
By offering his body and blood to the apostles, "he was inviting them to be one with him in the communion of life he shares with God the Father."
At the celebration of the Eucharist Christ's giving himself to the Father for the sake of the world is rendered present.
"In the Eucharist, he invites us to be one with him in his self-gift to the Father for the sake of the world - that very self-gift that brought life."
By saying "Amen" and receiving the Eucharist, we become promoters of life, Smith said.
At the time Smith gave his talk, the House of Commons was discussing a private member's bill that would have legalized assisted suicide.
The bill, he predicted, was sent up as a trial balloon that would return again with more official backing.
"We need to turn again and again to the Eucharist as the sacrament of life to provide us guidance on this," he said. "The Eucharist teaches us that life in its essence is self-gift.
"Life is not a private possession for me to do with as I see fit. Life is God's gift and we are its stewards.
"Christ's gift of his life to the Father," he noted, "was given in the midst of unspeakable pain and suffering. Life at all moments - particularly at moments of suffering - is to be offered as gift. This is not a time to abandon life."