June 24, 2022, was an unusual day in the liturgical calendar. Typically, on that day, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Nativity of John the Baptist. Yet, on the Friday following Trinity Sunday we celebrate the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. When two solemnities occur on the same day, feasts of Our Lord are given precedence. So, this year on June 24, we celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Next year we will return to celebrating John the Baptist’s birth on June 24.
June 24, 2022, was also an important day in our nation’s history. On that day the United States Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The court voted 5-4 declaring that the Constitution “makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision.” Hence, determining the legality of abortion returns to the states.
In God’s Providence those two solemnities will forever be associated with overturning the decision to legalize abortion across America. We remember that when Mary visited her cousin Elizabeth, John the Baptist leapt in his mother’s womb in the presence of Christ in Mary’s womb. We remember that Christ’s heart was pierced for our offenses and burns with an unquenchable love to save sinners. Many thoughts and emotions will swirl in the coming days following the court’s decision. God gives us the interpretive key for understanding that day: His great love for sinners and the beauty of life in the womb. These principles will characterize our path forward here in Rhode Island: working to protect the unborn and the loving desire to heal those who think abortion is the way forward.
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