This will be the last column you’ll get from me until Jan. 13 when the Southern Nebraska Register fires back up the press. Lots will take place between now and then. Christmas, for one. Then New Year’s. Just days after, the beginning of the 108th Nebraska Legislature. And probably some zero-temperature days sprinkled throughout.
There will be lots to be thankful for in these days ahead. Christmas gives us a chance to look on our beloved Savior, who, taking the form of man, came to us as an infant. What a radical form of humility for the God of the universe to put Himself under the care of Mary and Joseph, to serve and die for each of us. The turn of the year gives us the chance to think more deeply about the blessings past and those to come. For the Christian, we can consider how each of us can allow the Sacred Heart of Jesus to draw us ever nearer to the unfailing love of God.
In the midst of your focus on Christmas and the New Year, I invite you to also consider what work we have ahead of us this next legislative session, especially on the pro-life front.
January is a special month for us as pro-lifers. For years, we have memorialized and mourned the Roe v. Wade decision which, had it not been overturned by the Dobbs decision this last summer, would have turned 50 years old. The damage Roe has done to our nation is unspeakable: millions of babies who never saw the light of day; mothers and fathers who have been traumatized by the pain of abortion; countless Americans whose intellectual, moral, and spiritual formation has been deformed by the false narratives needed to prop up Roe.
All that is now changing. While we will still memorialize the damage of Roe, we live in a new dawn. Because Roe has been overturned, we have a greater capacity, through the law, to show our love, compassion, and respect for every human life.
How can we do that more concretely this coming January? I’d like to provide a few thoughts on this question.
First, make sure you attend the annual Pro-Life Mass and Nebraska Walk for Life on Saturday, Jan. 28. The Pro-Life Mass is sponsored by the Nebraska Catholic Conference and will take place at 9 a.m. at St. Mary Church in Lincoln. Archbishop George Lucas will celebrate and preach the Mass. It is always beautiful to see a standing-room only Pro-Life Mass and be united in worship as we pray for a culture of life. Mass is followed by the Nebraska Walk for Life sponsored by Nebraska Right to Life, which takes place outside the State Capitol building. And, in case you didn’t know, Nebraska Right to Life is sponsoring a gala the evening before. Visit the Nebraska Right to Life website for more information.
Second, be prepared for major pro-life and pro-mom legislation coming this session. While we came up just a couple votes short from being able to pass historic pro-life legislation last session, we come back with renewed energy in this post-Roe world. Expect bold legislation that will help babies and ensure that mothers in difficult pregnancies are cared for. Your advocacy is going to be indispensable to the passage of our legislative efforts. Visit www.NEcatholic.org to be part of our Catholic Advocacy Network of Nebraska!
Finally, pray and fast for the efforts I’ve mentioned above. There is much healing that is needed in this post-Roe world. And there is a need for bold and courageous legislation. These things don’t just happen by the sheer efforts of man. We must petition God through our prayer and fasting, asking Him to provide the sustaining peace and justice only He can bring to babies and moms. Pray that He brings our efforts under His loving arms and protects every step of the way!
To end, I want to leave you with a Christmas poem, written by Malcolm Guite entitled “Refugee”: “We think of him as safe beneath the steeple, / Or cosy in a crib beside the font, / But he is with a million displaced people / On the long road of weariness and want. / For even as we sing our final carol / His family is up and on that road, / Fleeing the wrath of someone else’s quarrel, / Glancing behind and shouldering their load. / Whilst Herod rages still from his dark tower / Christ clings to Mary, fingers tightly curled, / The lambs are slaughtered by the men of power, / And death squads spread their curse across the world. / But every Herod dies, and comes alone / To stand before the Lamb upon the throne.”
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!