Celebration of Life

Experiencing the March For Life 2018

Walking in union with hundreds of thousands of people at the March for Life this year, a family caught my eye.  There was a mother attending to a couple of toddlers, and beside her was her husband with his arms around their eight-year-old quadriplegic son in his wheelchair.  The father just kept glancing back and forth between his son and the passing crowd with a big smile on his face.  His whole demeanor seemed to be saying to his son, “Look son, they’re for you too.”  This father saw the March for Life not just as a celebration for life in general, but also a celebration of the life of his son.

Marching in the midst of the crowd, I saw many families and individuals with similar expressions on their faces – a joyful freedom in knowing that everyone else in the crowd is for them too. The spirit of the crowd was one of great peace and joy – a cross between a giant festival and a family reunion.  Indeed, it is not uncommon for friends from two completely different states to bump into each other in the March.  It’s not uncommon for friends from two different countries to bump into each other.  This year we met people from the West Coast of Canada, Ireland, and England in the March.  They specifically flew in from their country to be a part of the March for Life and its surrounding events.  There was lots of laughter, some singing, much cheering, and a general openness in the crowd where you can turn to anyone and ask where they came from, what inspired them to be a part of the March, and engage in really meaningful conversations.

There were also many pockets of prayer all throughout the March.  There were people quoting Scripture from the sides of the road, there were many who were praying the rosary, and there were others singing Christian songs.  It was beautiful too, to see the diversity of the crowd.  There were groups from different churches, different parishes, as well as different faith groups.  There were people from different organizations, businesses, medical groups, schools, and so much more.  Yet in such a diverse group, there was a real sense of unity.

Jesus prays to His Father in John 17:22-23, “The glory that You have given Me I have given them, so that they may be one, as We are one, I in them and You in Me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that You have sent Me and have loved them even as You have loved Me.”  How happy the Father must be when He looks between His Son, Jesus, and all those who attended the March for Life and all those who are building up a Culture of Life.  Perhaps He may even smile and say, “Look Son, they’re for You too.”

Father, we praise You and thank You for the gift of our lives and the gift of our families. We ask that You send forth Your Holy Spirit upon us to unite us in love as Your family, and to heal and reconcile any spirit of division within our hearts. Lord Jesus Christ, through the Incarnation, You united Yourself to our human family.  May You now give us the grace to live as children of God.  Jesus, we trust in You!