Wednesday, February 24, 2016

From 40 Days For Life: DAY 15: Meet Roko

40 Days for Life
Dear Deacon John,
Every once in a while, we get to meet a baby saved from abortion at a 40 Days for Life vigil.
It’s an occasion of almost unspeakable joy … realizing what might have happened to a happy young child if people had not been outside the abortion center, praying for mother and baby.
And now – we get to introduce one of those children to you!
Split, Croatia
Meet Roko and his mother, Melita.
“Roko is the first saved baby during the 40 Days for Life campaign in Split,” said Ante, who brought 40 Days for Life’s first campaign to Croatia’s capital, Zagreb. 
“Today,” he said, “Roko comes with his mother to pray for the other unborn children in Split to be rescued from abortion.”
When he visited Croatia last year, 40 Days for Life’s David Bereit had a chance to meet Roko and Melita. “And now they are actively participating in the local 40 Days for Life campaign that saved Roko’s life,” he said. “I love reports like this!”
Bucharest, Romania
The first 40 Days for Life campaign in Romania’s capital city features a display posted on a fence at the vigil site. It’s called “Look How They Grow” – a series of fetal development posters that certainly dispel any of the “clump of cells” arguments put forward by abortion proponents.
The vigil participants are also letting people know about a local organization that offers life-affirming guidance for those who are told that abortion will solve their problems.
The bishop in Bucharest posted a message of support for the campaign. He noted that abortion is the central point around which moral civilization will either stand or collapse.
Why now? And why Bucharest? The bishop’s statement says there’s never a better time than the present.
Birmingham, England
The Birmingham campaign has seen several encouraging signs thus far – starting on Day 1, when the abortion facility was closed.
Early the next day, vigil participants noticed a woman who was on her way in for an abortion appointment – crying. They offered her information about other options, but she refused.
A short time later, she came out … with a medical tag on her wrist.
“She chatted to the counsellor for a long time,” said Isabel in Birmingham, “and eventually went home without having her scheduled abortion. She needs prayers, please, as she is struggling to look after her 10-month-old.”
Some days later, the team heard of another mother who’d chosen life for her baby. “Yet again,” Isabel said, “the couple had their abortion booked but changed their minds at the very last minute.”
With that good news as part of the invitation, she encouraged others to join the vigil. “Break out of your comfort zone and get involved!”

Here's today's devotional from Rev. Rob Schenck, president of Faith and Action.
Day 15 intention

May God's people awaken to the fact that we are our brothers' keepers.

Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" He said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?" And He said, "What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground."

— Genesis 4:8-10
Reflection from Rev. Rob Schenck 

"Methinks he doth protest too much ..."

The Bible is filled with passages that speak to our obligation to care for our fellow human beings. From the many commands in the books of Moses enjoining love of family, neighbors and even strangers, to Jesus' parable of the Good Samaritan, the injunction to care for others is inescapable.

In this account, the guilt-stricken Cain tries to shrug off his obligation to his own kin by dismissing it as an unreasonable duty. A la Shakespeare, though, "methinks he doth protest too much." Cain's objection doesn't stem from his sense of proper boundaries of responsibility, but from his own self-centered sense of self-preservation.

Christ said, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends" (John 15:13). This is the standard of divine love. It required God to sacrifice what was most precious to Him for the temporal and eternal well being of all humankind (see John 3:16). Though on a much-reduced scale, he expects us to do the same.

Trying to duck our obligation to others is futile. We can't get away with simply dismissing others, especially the most vulnerable among us: the pre-born, the disabled, the sick and the aged. As with Cain, God sees and hears their suffering and will call us to account for what we do -- or do not do -- for them.

Father, help us to embrace the fact that we are our "brother's keeper." When, due to selfish motives, we try to cast off this responsibility please call to us to account. We would be pleasing to you and to our "brother." Through the help and grace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Printable devotional 

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For life,
 Shawn Carney
40 Days for Life