The month of October brings with it our annual observance of Respect Life Month. As part of the Year of St. Joseph declared by Pope Francis, this year’s celebration highlights the example of that great saint.
As the faithful protector of both Jesus and Mary, we find in St. Joseph a profound reminder of our own call to welcome, safeguard, and defend God’s precious gift of human life.
Despite the mysterious circumstances surrounding Mary’s pregnancy, St. Joseph took her into his home at the word of the angel. He guided their journey to Bethlehem, found shelter, and welcomed the infant Jesus as his son. When Herod threatened the life of the Christ Child, St. Joseph left his homeland behind and fled with Jesus and Mary to Egypt.
Like St. Joseph, we are also called to care for those God has entrusted to us–especially vulnerable mothers and children. We can follow in the footsteps of St. Joseph as protector by advocating against taxpayer-funded abortion, which targets the lives of millions of poor children and their mothers here in the United States. We can imitate his care and provision by helping to start Walking with Moms in Need at our parishes, "walking in the shoes" of mothers experiencing a difficult pregnancy, especially low-income mothers in our communities.
At times, we may feel uncertain of our ability to answer the Lord’s call. But He invites us to faithfully respond, despite our own fears or weaknesses: “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9).
May we imitate St. Joseph’s faithful trust and courage as we work to uphold the dignity of every human life. St. Joseph, defender of life, pray for us!
To learn more about preventing taxpayer-funded abortion, visit www.notaxpayerabortion.com.
To walk with moms in need through your local parish, go to www.walkingwithmoms.com.
To join in prayer for the intercession of St. Joseph, defender of life, visit www.respectlife.org/prayer-to-st-joseph.
-- Most Reverend Joseph F. Naumann - Chairman, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-Life Activities