MIRACLE OF LIFE– Consider the miracle of the human body. Its chemistry is just as extraordinarily well tuned as is the physics of the cosmos. Our world on both sides of the divide that separates life from lifelessness is filled with wonder. Each human cell has a double helix library of three billion base pairs providing fifty thousand genes. These three billion base pairs and fifty thousand genes somehow engineer 100 trillion neural connections in the brain—enough points of information to store all the data and information contained in a fifty-million-volume encyclopedia. And then after that, these fifty thousand genes set forth a million fibers in the optic nerves, retinae having ten million pixels per centimeter, some ten billion in all, ten thousand taste buds, ten million nerve endings for smell, cells that exude a chemical come-on to lure an embryo’s lengthening neurons from spinal cord to target cell, each one of the millions of target cells attracting the proper nerve from the particular needed function. And all this three-dimensional structure arises somehow from the linear, one-dimensional information contained along the DNA helix. Did all this happen by chance or do you see the hand of God?
Friday, many of us are marching for life, here in Washington, D.C. and in other communities. Today we ponder the great mystery that is expressed in the 139th psalm:
For it was you who created my being, knit me together in my mother’s womb. I thank you for the wonder of my being. … Already you knew my soul my body held no secret from you when I was being fashioned in secret …. [E]very one of my days was decreed before one of them came into being. To me, how mysterious your thoughts, the sum of them not to be numbered! (Psalm 139 varia)
No human being is an accident, no conception a surprise or inconvenience to God. He knew and loved us long before we were ever conceived, for He says, Before I ever formed you in the womb I knew you (Jer 1:4). God has always known everything we would ever do or be.
It is often mysterious to us why human life is sometimes conceived under difficult circumstances such as poverty, times of family struggle or crisis, even disability and disadvantage. But in the end we see so very little; we must ponder the mystery of God’s reminder that many who are “last” will be first in the Kingdom (e.g. Matt 20:16; Luke 1:52-53).
So on Friday, many will march, but all are called to remember the sacred lives that have been lost. We acknowledge our loss, for the gifts of these children have been swept from us. We pray for women who struggle to bring children to term and experience pressure to consider abortion. We pray for the immediate conversion of all who support legalized abortion for any reason as well as for the dedication to assist women facing difficulties in giving birth to or raising their children.
The following video is a shortened version of the masterpiece “Genesis,” by Ramos David. It depicts fetal development in magnificent fashion. Because this is an abbreviated version, I have taken the liberty of adding a different music track. The piece you hear is William Byrd’s Optimam Partem Elegit (She has Chosen the Best Part). The title is most fitting as we pray that all mothers will choose life. The full length video, in higher definition, can be found on YouTube by searching for “Genesis Ramos David”