The Gospel shows Catholics how to weather a stormy culture of death
January 28, 2023
Archbishop George J. Lucas and 4,000 to 5,000 other Nebraskans bundled up against a cold north wind at the Jan. 28 Walk for Life in Lincoln.
The annual rally outside the State Capitol and the walk to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus is held every January, and weather conditions usually aren’t ideal.
But it wasn’t the weather outside that Archbishop Lucas was concerned about when he delivered his homily at a Pro-Life Mass before the walk.
Instead he talked about a cultural, moral storm.
That storm has been brewing for decades, he said, and has become more intense since June, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 50-year-old Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.
Since then, many lives have been saved and more opportunities are available to enact pro-life laws, the archbishop said.
Yet despite the victory, many have been taken aback by a “storm of pushback” from those who wish to preserve abortion – of renewed anger, energy and lies, Archbishop Lucas said during his homily at St. Mary Church, across from the State Capitol.
Bishop Joseph G. Hanefeldt and Bishop Emeritus William J. Dendinger of the Grand Island Diocese concelebrated the Mass.
The new post-Roe chapter in the United States doesn’t make being pro-life more pleasant or easier, Archbishop Lucas said. But the Gospel reading at the Mass – St. Mark’s account of a stormy boat ride for Jesus and his apostles – can help people understand how to respond.
Like the apostles in the tossed-about boat, “we turn to Jesus, who we know is with us,” loves us and is “more powerful than the chaos around us.”
Jesus, who calmed the sea and saved the apostles, has “preserved us from being swept up by the culture of death for a reason,” Archbishop Lucas said.
The Lord is asking his faithful to pray, shape public policy and assist pregnancy help centers in their mission, the archbishop said. But “the most important challenge I would like to raise for us today is for us to examine ourselves about how we come across to our families, to our neighbors, to our co-workers.
“Am I known by others as a disciple of Jesus Christ? Do people see Jesus Christ reflected in me in my words, my attitudes, my actions? When someone is in need … does that person see me as someone they can trust and confide in?”
The archbishop said he has a dream that everywhere in Nebraska a person could find a Catholic nearby who is ready to help, whom women who are afraid or struggling could turn to, “especially if she’s worried about her pregnancy, she’s afraid or alone, she’s hearing the lies from the culture of death, overwhelmed and really wondering if she can survive.”
“The civilization of life that we all agree about and desire is built most of the time one relationship at a time,” Archbishop Lucas said. “This is our biggest post-Roe challenge. It’s also an opportunity for us to grow in our faith, to grow in love for the Lord.
“So let’s not be afraid. Jesus has saved us for a reason. Jesus has saved us for this moment. And he is with us.”