As a Christian people, we must welcome “the stranger,” expressing genuine care and hospitality for the immigrant community. Approaching the Martin Luther King federal holiday, we must show young people the value of giving back to our communities, renewing our collective commitment to justice and charity. Each of us is called to be a “drum major for justice.” Each of us must be attentive to opportunities to create structures of justice and integrity for those rendered defenseless by indifference. Each of us is called to fight for the fundamental right to life on which every other right is predicated.
As we approach the commemoration of Roe v. Wade on Jan. 22, and the tragic consequences of the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, we are called to affirm the intrinsic value of human life and the dignity of every human being in a way that transforms culture. Each of us is a holy child of God who is wonderfully and fearfully made. After all, Christ came that we may have life, and have it abundantly (Jn 10:10). Let us readily accept our moral obligation to defend human life at every age and every stage from conception to natural death.
Finally, I encourage everyone to participate in the Mass commemorating the work of Martin Luther King at St. Mary Cathedral on Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m. with Bishop Curtis J. Guillory of Beaumont. We also encourage everyone to participate in the activities of Texas Catholic Pro-life Day on Jan. 27 beginning with Mass at San Jose Parish in Austin at 10:00 a.m. with Bishop Joe Vasquez, or Saint Louis Parish in Austin at 10:30 a.m. with Auxiliary Bishop Daniel E. Garcia. For details, visit http://www.austindiocese.org.