As I watched each of the four scathing video exposés that were recently released showing Planned Parenthood officials trafficking in baby parts, the words of messianic prophecies and their fulfillment in the life of the God-man rang in my ears:
Dogs surround me,
a pack of villains encircles me;
they pierce my hands and my feet.
All my bones are on display;
people stare and gloat over me.
They divide my clothes among them
and cast lots for my garment.
It can be difficult to see God in a world that seems to be increasingly inundated with darkness, shamelessly flaunting its depravity. In a world where the very words used to prophesy Christ’s coming crucifixion ring out through the mouth of an abortionist, who speaks openly about “crushing” baby parts, even as she has the gall to sip wine:
He was pierced for our offenses,
crushed for our sins.
I’ve racked my heart lately, asking, “Where are you, Lord? Where are You in all of this?” And then I saw Jesus. There He was in the innocent, tiny child, being gloated over and bid upon, even as lots were cast for its organs. There He was in the baby ever so carefully aborted to keep its body “intact” for profit. There He was in the boy bathed in blood and water, whose head was crowned with forceps. I looked, and I heard the words of Christ:
Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.
“It’s a boy,” the doctor in the fourth video exclaims as though someone has given birth, even though she is rummaging through baby parts trying to find booty to sell. “Another boy!” she says almost absurdly, declaring death instead of life. And then I heard the announcement of Christ’s coming into a broken, sinful world:
You will conceive in your womb…a son.
You are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.
Behold the liturgy of Christ’s life and death, playing itself out over and over again in a fallen world. It’s meant to penetrate sin with grace, darkness with light, death with life—to awaken us from blindness to the mystery of God with us.
Will we let ourselves wake up to God’s presence in our midst; will we let our sight be healed that we may see? Will we receive the liberation He yearns to give us from our sins, this Jesus, who was crucified upon the Cross? Will we let His death and resurrection shatter our hardened hearts, pierce them through and bring them back to life? Redemption is entirely possible, and it will transform us if we let it.
I remember meeting Dr. Bernard Nathanson, who by his own admission performed thousands of abortions during his career, including on his own children. Before being received into the Catholic Church in 1996, the former-atheist turned Christian wrote these words:
For the first time in my adult life, I began to entertain seriously the notion of God—a god who problematically, had led me through the proverbial circles of hell, only to show me the way to redemption and mercy through His grace…It instantly converted my past into a vile bog of sin and evil...and simultaneously—miraculously—it held out a shimmering sliver of Hope to me, in the growing belief that Someone had died for my sins and my evil two millennia ago.
God’s grace and mercy make redemption entirely conceivable, even for the most hard-bitten sinners. Remembering this truth brings a shimmering sliver of hope—a ray of light in the darkness—darkness into which the Light perpetually shines.