It was no mistake that God came into the world as a baby, an innocent child. It was all part of His divine plan. Had Mary said no, had she rejected God’s will, then our salvation might not have been. She cooperated with God, as did Joseph.
There’s a lot of theology in that point but one lesson is clear: In accepting pregnancy, in accepting a child, every mother and father accepts Jesus to one degree or another, but if they say no to a pregnancy, they reject Him.
Jesus told us this Himself in the Gospels, “Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me.” (Mt 18:5). Mother Teresa (1910-1997) emphasized that point in a now-famous speech at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 3, 1994.
“But I feel that the greatest destroyer of peace today is abortion, because Jesus said, ‘If you receive a little child, you receive me,’” said Mother Teresa. “So every abortion is the denial of receiving Jesus, is the neglect of receiving Jesus. It is really a war against the child, a direct killing of the innocent child, murder by the mother herself.”
As Mother Teresa spoke, on stage with her were some of the most anti-life politicians in history, President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore and his then-wife Tipper Gore. Mother Teresa, 5-feet tall and probably weighing no more than 100 pounds, was not afraid.
She explained (see video), “[I]f we accept that a mother can kill even her own child, how can we tell other people not to kill one another?”
If it is okay to kill babies, then why are we shocked over shootings at Newtown? About 3,000 children are killed by abortion in the United States every day, yet the dominant media say … nothing. They instead demand gun control while the Planned Parenthood mill down the street is killing children by the bushel.
Mother Teresa continued, “How do we persuade a woman not to have an abortion? As always, we must persuade her with love and we remind ourselves that love means to be willing to give until it hurts. Jesus gave even His life to love us. So, the mother who is thinking of abortion, should be helped to love, that is, to give until it hurts her plans, her free time, to respect the life of her child.
“For the child is the greatest gift of God to the family because it has been created to love and to be loved,” she said. “The father of that child, whoever he is, must also give until it hurts. By abortion, the mother does not learn to love, but kills even her own child to solve her problems. And, by abortion, the father is told that he does not have to take any responsibility at all for the child he has brought into the world. That father is likely to put other women into the same trouble -- so abortion just leads to more abortion.”
However, there is a simple solution: adoption. There is never any reason to kill a child. There are millions of couples in the United States and around the world who want to adopt – today. There are also hundreds, if not thousands of organizations working to make that happen.
“A most beautiful gift God has given our congregation is to fight abortion by adoption,” said Mother Theresa. “We have given already from one house in Calcutta over 3,000 children into adoption. And I can tell you what joy, what love, what peace, those children have brought into those families. It has been a real gift of God for them and for us.”
She continued, “I remember one of the little ones got very sick, so I sent for the father and mother and I asked them, please give me back the sick child, I will give you a healthy one. And the father looked at me and said, ‘Mother Teresa, take my life first, then take the child.’”
“So beautiful to see, so much love, so much joy that little one has brought into that family,” she said. “So pray for us that we continue this beautiful gift. And also, I offer you – our Sisters are here [the Missionaries of Charity] – anybody who doesn’t want their child, please give it to me. I want the child.”
Yes, the Missionaries of Charity will take the child, as will countless other groups, religious and secular. There is no need to abort a baby, to reject a pregnancy, to say no to Jesus.
Mary said yes. Joseph said yes. We should strive to be like them. It will bring great joy to the world and to ourselves.