The elephant in the room...or is it a lion!?

I am sure that many of you have read that in the Bible there are 365 places where either in the Old Testament or the New Testament we are told: “Do not be afraid.” This symbolic number of 365 evokes the consoling fact that for each day of the year, we don't need to be afraid because our God is with us. However, do we pay must attention to the times when the Scripture alerts us towards the things that we should be afraid of? One of these phrases is the following: “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:27-28).

Do we ever think of who could destroy our body? Or our soul? Usually when we think of fear, we shirk away, we don’t like fear but yet a healthy fear keeps us alive. Over the past week we have seen how others have taken it upon themselves to ‘kill the body’. If you haven’t heard about the horrific videos released in the past week about the heartbreaking and despicable activities of Planned Parenthood, it is understandable. The silence of mainstream media has been deafening. I have just checked Twitter and the second top trending hashtag is #Jericho. Jericho is the brother of Cecil the lion who was killed this week…but more about that later. Planned Parenthood is not even on the Top 10. I also just read that Obama is going to investigate the lion being killed but nothing about Planned Parenthood selling the organs of little babies who were aborted. Are things gone mad or what!?

Some things just don't change. Today’s Gospel narrates the story of the beheading of St. John the Baptist. The story kind of goes like this: John the Baptist is quite vocal in telling Herod that he is wrong in taking his brother’s wife, Herodias. Herod doesn’t like what he hears nor does he listen and sees no problem. So it’s his birthday and Herodias’s daughter does some kind of provocative dance for Herod who is enthralled by this and promises her anything….anything! In steps Mother Herodias and asks for the head of John the Baptist on a plate. Seriously! Killing any human being or having them killed is a violation of the gift of life, a gift that God alone gives and takes. Yet, Herod had John beheaded. There is something even crueler in this barbaric act of beheading. It is not enough to kill John, he is beheaded. If we look at ISIS we see that they have made the beheading of victims a key element in its campaign of terror and conquest. It is an attempt to sow an even more disturbing memory of the dead person in your mind. After all, when we communicate we look a person in the eye. We hear with our ears. The words come from our mouths. We breathe through our nose.. Emotions and their communication come primarily from the facial area. To take all this away from someone is a clear attempt to take away the identity and dignity of a person.

Recently another beheading has been in the news which has caused outrage. There has been media hysteria about the lion called Cecil who was hunted and shot for pure selfish purposes. Yes, I am sad that this happened, that a human with many gifts and talents felt he had to prove himself by shooting dead this magnificent beast, one of God's creatures. However I am even sadder that there is no 'outpouring' of sadness over the trafficking of baby organs and part of their little bodies by Planned Parenthood. Is it easier to care about dead lions than dead people? Has our moral compass gone so off kilter that there has been a very selective media blackout to these very disturbing videos and what they reveal about an organisation that is being funded by American taxpayers dollars! An organisation that continues to tell women and men that it's okay to have even late term abortions because it's 'not a baby or a person', yet they'll go on to haggle prices about the parts of their bodies and organs. Lord have mercy! However on Monday next, the Senate is voting for the first time on a bill to that would revoke the more than $550 million in taxpayer funding the Planned Parenthood abortion business receives each and every year. Let’s hope that happens.

Another Scriptural quote reads: "What is hidden in darkness is being brought to light" (Eph 5,13). Yes, it is a time where many things are coming to light. It is all necessary so that the victory of truth may win over and where respect for life is held as paramount, in tandem with the fact that God is our Creator, we are his beloved sons and daughters, created in love and for love.

In the meanwhile, we pray continue to pray for melting of frozen hearts and for respect for life, from the womb to the tomb.