WEDNESDAY OF THE FOURTEENTH WEEK IN ORDINARY TIME
From St Pope John Paul’s Farewell Address after his 1987 Visit to the US:
America, your greatest beauty and your richest blessing is found in each person: in each man, woman, and child, in every immigrant, in every native-born son and daughter. For this reason, America, your deepest identity and truest character as a nation is revealed in the position you take towards the human person. The ultimate test of your greatness is in the way you treat every human being, but especially the weakest and most defenseless ones. The traditions of your land presume respect for those who cannot defend themselves. If you want equal justice for all, and true freedom and lasting peace, then, America, defend life! All the great causes that are yours today will have meaning only to the extent that you guarantee the right to life and protect the human person: feeding the poor and welcoming refugees, reinforcing the social fabric of this nation, promoting the true advancement of women, securing the rights of minorities, pursuing disarmament, while guaranteeing legitimate defense, all this will succeed only if respect for life and its protection by the law is granted to every human being from conception until natural death.
And here we are thirty-three years later with still much to do to assure equality and justice for all.