For Thanksgiving, we are given a short excerpt from Sirach (50-22-24) for our first reading. The passage speaks of a wondrous and good God who brings joy and peace to those whom He has grown and fashioned from before they were born.
In reading this, particularly the excerpt above, we cannot help but think of how “pro-life” is the Lord God. This “fostering” and “fashioning” is not simply biological. Through the conjugal act God brings into a being a unique human person and infuses a soul into him. We are body and soul and are only complete when we have both. God fosters our physical and spiritual growth. His will is to fashion all persons so that they remain fully in His image and likeness. Sin erodes this. Grace restores it. But to even face that challenge and struggle the child in the womb (from conception) must be allowed the opportunity to fulfill his potential. Sirach is not alone in Scripture in clearly stating the personhood of the unborn, but he is an early conveyor of this truth. A world that kills its children in the womb serves also to spiritually harm those who make it out. The challenges and struggles already mentioned that we all encounter are not eased by the immorality and bad example of a society that has so little regard for the most vulnerable that in many places their destruction is enshrined in human law. All too often, cooperation with God’s plan to foster growth is worked against. Defying God’s will is not a recipe for true and lasting joy and peace that He so wants to give to those who honor Him with their lives.