The theme of this year’s Generation Life pilgrimage is “Young People Proclaiming the Gospel of Life.” Let us take a moment to delve into what that really means.

Our Message: The Gospel of Life

What is the Gospel of Life? It is the very message of Jesus Christ: that God desire to be in relationship with us, his creation, a relationship of perfect love. Our very dignity as humans is rooted in the fact that we have been made in the image and likeness of God to be in relationship with Him. At the heart of the Gospel of Life is a profound gratitude and joy at the incomparable dignity which God has bestowed on us and every other human person. Because of this, human life must never be taken and must be protected with loving concern.

This is the message that we are called to proclaim here in Washington, D.C. this weekend. We are here to let our nation’s leaders know what is the most important thing for us: the protection of all human life. Specifically, we are here to say that we are generation that does not believe that the killing of an unborn life should ever be legal. We are here to give voice to the more than 58 million babies who were aborted and never had a chance to live. We are here to remind everyone in our nation that every human life has inestimable value.

Effectively Sharing the Message

In order for us to be effective witnesses for life, we must remember that we have received the Gospel of life as a gift from God and that it is God who is the source of all goodness. It is through God’s grace that we have become a people of life. We cannot forget that we are to be messengers of Jesus Christ and everything we say and do during this pilgrimage should reflect that goodness.

Proclaiming the Gospel of Life might draw anger from some people. Abortion is a hot-button topic because it impacts people personally. We are mindful of the many men and women who have been hurt because of abortion in a very personal way, whether they chose abortion, were coerced into an abortion, or simply didn’t know that there were other options out there. We are not here to judge or condemn them; rather, we are here to love them, offering them hope and healing through Project Rachel and Project Joseph. We want them to know that our God is a loving and forgiving Lord who is yearning for them to be reconciled to him.

We can empathize with these men and women because we, too, are in need of forgiveness. Whether our sins are big or small, we are all in need of God’s mercy. By recognizing that we all rely upon God’s mercy and love, we can bridge the barriers we put in our mind that keep us from approaching another person and recognizing his or her dignity as a child of God. The more we are able to realize that our “opponents” are really not that different than us, the more we are able to build bridges necessary for effectively sharing the Gospel of Life.