As ISIS militants encroach inch by inch into the city of Kobane with the intent to utilize deadly force, the courageous and determined Kurdish forces put up a desperate effort. Despite their plea for help, the reluctant Turkish soldiers, with their tanks, just look on as the Kurds fight ISIS to the death. Doomsday for the Kurds is looming; it is not a matter of “if” it will happen, but a matter of “when,” unless, of course, immediate and meaningful assistance were to come from the Coalition forces. But as hope fades, 160,000 Syrian Kurds fled their hometown seeking refuge in the makeshift refugee camp at the Turkish border.
We all understand that desperate times call for desperate measures, we further understand this to mean that people will often end up resorting to their most base survival instincts: ditch everything that is not essential for survival and pack as light as you can so you can run as fast as you can. Unfortunately, this often means leaving behind the elderly and the sick. If they don’t slow you down, you increase your chances of survival. People then, were doing exactly that. All save for this one young man who defied that logic. He is seen carrying his 92 year old grandmother on his back. Between the logic of our survival instinct and the logic of love, or rather, between the brain and the heart, his heart and the logic of love won. Love should always win. And it often does, though not always.
We were made by God who is love, and we are made to love, especially the weak, the vulnerable and the abandoned. That is what Jesus did, and it is what He tells us to do. Mahatma Ghandi put it quite well when he said, “The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its most vulnerable members.” But Ghandi has not been the only who thought this; Churchill, Pope John Paul II, Dostoyevsky, Truman and many others all believed the same thing. Yet, when we look around our society, we find the weak and the most vulnerable often abandoned and exploited. When we pay close attention, we can observe that our society places two kinds of labels on people: one, a price tag, and the other, an expiry date. Society judges people’s worth and their importance by their productivity, while at the same time it attempts to rid itself of those who no longer contribute, and thus, are considered burdens to it.
The Church has always defended the sanctity of human life from the moment of conception to natural death, as well as the inherent dignity of human persons, and because our society doesn’t always value or defend human life, especially that of the unborn and of the elderly, we need to lend our voices to those who cannot speak for themselves. Last Sunday’s March for Life did exactly that. A small group of individuals from our parish, St. David’s parish, and St. Thomas Villanova High School came out to this year’s Life Chain. I hope that next year’s Life Chain sees an exponential increase in its participants. Between our brain and our heart, we should let our hearts win, because it is love that unites us all.