Excerpts from Cardinal O’Malley’s homily delivered at the March for Life Vigil Mass celebrated at the Basilica of the immaculate Conception in Washignton D.C. Jan. 21.
The Holy Father warns us in Evangelii Gaudium about the globalization of indifference. He says, “Almost without being aware of it, we end up being incapable of feeling compassion at the outcry of the poor as though they were someone else’s responsibility and not our own.”
Indifference is our greatest enemy. We see the antidote in today’s Gospel. The Lord looks at the confused young man, and St. Marks writes: “And he loved him.” The confused young man went away sad because he did not realize how much the Lord loved him. Had he even suspected I am sure he would have given the money away gladly, but in his insecurity and fear, he leaves. He goes away sad.
Christ has given us the formula for joy in the Gospel. We must learn to look on people with love. An attitude of judgmental self righteousness is not going to change peoples’ attitudes. We need to be the field hospital not Judge Judy. We need to be the merciful face of Christ. To change people’s hearts we need the witness of our love and our joy. To evangelize is to be a messenger of joy, of good news.
We must direct our love and attention to wherever life is most threatened and show by our attitudes, words and actions that life is precious. We must work tirelessly to change the unjust laws, but we must work even harder to change hearts, to build a civilization of love.
The rich young man left in discouragement because what Christ asked of him was difficult. The challenges we face are great and discouragement is our greatest enemy. But know that Jesus is looking on us with love, His love should energize and unite us. No sacrifice is too great, we must not count the cost, but press on with the full assurance that we shall overcome.