Pontius Pilate’s actions at the time of Jesus’ trial bring to mind the words of St. Paul in Romans (7:15): “For I do not that good which I will; but the evil which I hate, that I do.” Pilate is a kind of everyman, finding himself doing the exact opposite of what he intended to do.
When Jesus is brought before Pilate, Jesus tells him “...I came into the world to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth hears my voice.” To which Pilate replies, “What is truth?” Pilate, like many today, wasn’t confident that objective, or eternal truth, existed. But as Pope John Paul II warned in Veritatis Splendor, “If there is no transcendent truth... then there is no sure principle for guaranteeing just relations between people.”
Pilate’s wife, acting as an instrument of grace, sends him a note saying “Have nothing to do with this righteous man.” After questioning Jesus, and perhaps with this in mind, Pilate addresses the mob and says “I find no guilt in this man.” When they continue clamoring for His death he asks, “Why, what evil has he done?” Pilate, the pagan, stands up for the Word of God while the People of the Word, the Chosen People, reject Him.
Then Pilate starts compromising. In an attempt to appease the crowd, he has Jesus scourged and then offers to release Him. When this still doesn’t placate the mob, Pilate caves in completely and orders Jesus’ execution. He was, in today’s language, “personally opposed, but...” To demonstrate this, Pilate washes his hands in front of the crowd saying “I am innocent of this man’s blood.” Nonetheless, he, the mob and the silent all bore responsibility.
John Paul II called the right to life “...fundamental... because upon this physical life all the other values of the person are based.” If foundational laws, such as the right to life, are violated, all the just laws built upon them are at risk. Thus, in fighting for the right to life, we are also fighting for a just society for our posterity, one in which there is a higher law than that of the state. It’s important not to see this fight as a burden, but as an honor.
The innocent unborn little ones are completely unable to defend themselves. Their only arms are our prayers, words and deeds. We may not, like Pilate, “wash our hands.” We may not remain silent spectators. In Latin the maxim is “Qui tacet consentire videtur,” which in English means "He who remains silent is thought to consent.” In Leviticus (19:16) too, we are admonished: “You shall not stand idly by while your neighbor’s life is at stake.” Finally, Jesus has told us that at the Last Judgment we will be judged based on what we did for “the stranger, the hungry, and the naked” for “whatever you did to these the least of my brethren, you did unto me.” (Mat 26:35-46)
Once again this year, on the 43rd anniversary of the infamous 1973 Roe v. Wade decision which legalized abortion, and after the unjustifiable deaths of 59-60 million innocent human beings in our nation, we need to ask: “What have I done to protest this injustice? What am I doing to protect the unborn? What will I do?”
We should pray and offer up our sufferings for the unborn. If we can do more, we should. We might speak up, or write letters to the paper or our representatives, and vote for those who respect the right to life. We can contribute to or participate in organizations that seek to protect the unborn. And let us not forget those women who are pregnant and tempted to abort, or those who have aborted a child, and suffer intense guilt and grief. They too need our help.
One way your station is trying to help is by showing many programs related to abortion and its deleterious effects on individuals and society. Our hope is that these programs will touch the hearts of those who are not aware of this injustice and stir the hearts of those who are to do more.
Please continue to support your station through your prayers, by telling others, by offering to volunteer, and a financial contribution if possible. Let us thank God that we are now back on the air at full power, with a new transmitter bringing Veritatis Splendor, The Splendor of the Truth, to our viewers. We still haven’t received sufficient contributions to cover the $46,000 cost, but all contributions, large and small, have helped. Benedicamus Domino!