By John-Henry Westen
VANCOUVER, January 12, 2010 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In his homily for the annual pro-life Mass on December 28, Vancouver Archbishop Michael Miller began by expressing his gratitude to pro-lifers “for your willingness not just to affirm the sacrosanct value of every human life but to work and pray that this value be recognized as absolutely necessary to the common good of society.”
The Mass was celebrated on December 28 – the feast of the Holy Innocents – which commemorates the babies slain in Bethlehem as King Herod sought to kill the Christ child.
“Herod distinguished himself by the cold-blooded murder of innocent babies, in a vain effort to secure his throne against any rivals,” said Archbishop Miller. “We do not know their number, but they are venerated as martyrs because they died in the place of Christ. In a similar way we can consider all the unborn who die in the womb as silent witnesses to Christ and his infinite power to save.”
The Vancouver Archbishop said: “All too often in our country crimes against life are supported by government, certain professions and public opinion.” He noted the irony that while Canada is such a great promoter of human rights, “the most basic human right, ‘the right to life, is being denied or trampled upon, especially at the more significant moments of existence: the moment of birth and the moment of death.’”
While the archbishop admitted that the pro-life struggle in Canada “is an enormous task, one fraught with difficulties and setbacks,” he stressed, “we dare not lose hope.”
“The innocents slaughtered in our day should not occasion despair in us. We are part of a struggle that goes back to the murder of Cain – but we also have the palm of victory in our hands … If there are bloody Herods in our day, there are also joyful angel choirs, singing for the birth of each child destined for eternal life.”
“With the coming of Christ new value is placed on human life,” Archbishop Miller explained. “In Christ we are made even more aware that each and every human being is made in the image and likeness of God; that each and every human being is unique, precious and unrepeatable.”
Pro-lifers he said, “have an irreplaceable role to play: we need – the Church needs, society needs – evangelists, heralds, of life, people willing to confront the weakness of a culture which has trivialized the gift of life.”
The Archbishop cautioned, however, that “we do not approach those who are straying with feelings of arrogance or self-righteousness.” He explained: “The fact that we know that we are right about the sacred value of human life should make us humble and more determined to spread this message by the love shown in our lives and our willingness to be servants of life.”
Concluding his message, Archbishop Miller prayed “that our efforts will be sustained so that we may have the courage to bring about a renewed respect for human life in Canada, build a culture of life, protect the innocents of our day and comfort those who mourn.”
Read the comlete homily here.