After a talk I gave at the Cathedral in Gaylord Michigan on Saturday, an insightful man named Richard Grammens and his wife Mary Jean approached me. He told me to think about the “size and condition” of Jesus in the womb when John the Baptist recognized the Person and Personhood of Jesus in hte womb.
But I will share Richard’s own words with you:
“Unfortunately some Christian men and women believe in “pro-choice”; i.e., a woman’s right to determine if she will have an abortion or not. Under a Supreme Court decision, a woman has the legal right to have an abortion; however, it is still morally wrong. As St. Peter proclaimed when testifying before the Jewish High Priest and the Council (Acts 5:29), “We must obey God, not men”.
“Some will argue that the fetus is not a human until it is born. The Catholic Church teaches that from the moment of conception, an embryo has the right to life and that it is morally wrong to terminate that life. In addition, the following narrative from the Gospel according to Luke (1:26-56) is worth pondering.
“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to a young woman in Nazareth named Mary. The angel greeted Mary and announced that she would become pregnant and bear a child to be called “Son of the Most High God”. Mary consented and the angel Gabriel told Mary of Elizabeth’s pregnancy. Soon afterward, Mary proceeded with haste to visit Elizabeth in a town in the hill country. When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby (John the Baptist) leaped within her.
“Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, said in a loud voice, “You are the most blessed of all women, and blessed is the child that you will bear. Why should this great thing happen to me, that my Lord’s mother comes to visit me? For as soon as I heard your greeting, the baby within me jumped with gladness”.
“Consider that after the annunciation by the angel Gabriel, Mary proceeded with haste to visit her cousin Elizabeth. Assuming that Mary reached Elizabeth within a short period of say around 10 days after conception, the baby Jesus was still an embryo*; i.e., just a mass of unrecognizable cells. Yet even though he could not see from within the womb of Elizabeth,
John the Baptist recognized the person of Jesus, the Son of God, within Mary. Mary was pregnant with a human person; even a sixth month old fetus, without the benefit of eyesight, was able to make that determination.
“Footnote: From a medical standpoint, a child is not considered a “fetus” until after the eighth (8th) week of pregnancy. Prior to that time, the child is considered an ’embryo’.”
Richard G. Grammens, August 21, 2015