Think about it: in human terms, the birth that millions of Christians around the world have just celebrated was not only unplanned, but risky.
A young, unmarried girl finds herself pregnant, and must convince her betrothed, an older, upright man, that something supernatural had occurred. Fortunately, the Lord helped on this score, sending an angel to Joseph in a dream, but he and Mary risked scandal and hardship nonetheless. They were poor, from a backwater town, part of an oppressed ethnic group, and had not yet started their lives together.
And we know all the challenges they faced when the time came for her to deliver.
Believing Christians wonder: Why? Why would God choose to enter history as a vulnerable infant? Why would Mary give birth in a stable, with animals, among the poorest of the poor? There must be a message here. God does not do things by accident.
He does, however, surprise. In his General Audience on December 19, Pope Francis said that Christmas is about surprises; it “is welcoming on earth surprises from heaven.” The first Christmas teaches us that “life is not planned, but is given, where one does not live anymore for oneself, according to one’s own preferences, but for God and with God because from Christmas onward, God is the God-with-us, who lives with us and walks with us.”
There are no-doubt many Christians across America who are making donations to Planned Parenthood this season, answering the flood of internet ads which announce that donations — to “save Roe” — will be doubled until December 31. For the second year running, Planned Parenthood is also exhorting people to donate in “honor” of Vice President Mike Pence, to mock him for his pro-life stance.
“Planned Parenthood” actually doesn’t do much at all for parents. Lila Rose’s Live Action found last year that the vast majority of Planned Parenthood clinics offer zero prenatal care. The New York Times just broke a story about women who are accusing Planned Parenthood of discriminating against them for being pregnant.
This is not surprising: How does a woman arriving for an abortion procedure feel when met by a clinic worker so obviously pregnant that the humanity of her child cannot be ignored? Not a good advertisement for an abortion clinic.
Planned Parenthood pushes abortions on women who are often panicked, pressured, poor, young, and alone: they believe they have no other choice.
Mary was frightened, and she sure didn’t comprehend all that was happening, but she said yes to God. Joseph too said yes to stepping up and being the foster father of a baby in need. Because of their decision to protect the baby, from conception, reality was changed forever.
There are thousands of pregnancy centers across the country that exist to help any person who reaches out to them — without judgment or condemnation, but with compassion and practical aid. It is a cruel myth perpetrated by abortion activists that pregnancy centers “only” care about the unborn child. The reality is that mothers, fathers, and existing children are met where they are and offered needed assistance. Centers offer medical care, referrals to social workers, aid in applying for government programs, day care services, material goods — the list goes on and on. At such centers, women who don’t think they have choices discover that, when even one person is willing to walk with them and explore solutions, they can find new hope and new possibilities, and best of all, they can welcome their own unborn children into the world with love.
Why not support your local pregnancy center with an end of year gift, for life?
Maria McFadden Maffucci is the editor of the Human Life Review, www.humanlifereview.com, a quarterly journal devoted to the defense of human life, founded in 1974 by her father, James P. McFadden, Associate Publisher of National Review. She is President of the Human Life Foundation, based in midtown Manhattan, which publishes the Review and supports pregnancy resource centers. Mrs. Maffucci’s articles and editorials have appeared in the Human Life Review, First Things, National Review Online, National Review, Verily, and Crux. A Holy Cross graduate with a BA in Philosophy, she is married to Robert E. Maffucci, and the mother of three children. Her interests include exploring opportunities for individuals with special needs. To read more of her reports — Click Here Now.
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