A reflection by Mark Hartfiel on the Dobbs decision


I can’t think of a more perfect day to uphold the dignity of life than the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart. This feast is celebrated each year on the Friday after the second Sunday following Pentecost. In all other years, June 24th is the celebration of the Feast of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. As far as feast days go, this feast is also atypical in nature. In most cases, feast days come on the anniversary of the death of a Saint. As an example, St. John Bosco died on January 31, 1888. Therefore we celebrate and honor his life and death on January 31 each year.


There are only three birthdays celebrated by the Church: Jesus (Dec 25), Mary (Sept 8), and John the Baptist (June 24). Why these three? The Church believes this trio was uniquely born without the stain of Original Sin. Of course, Jesus is Jesus. Mary was Immaculately Conceived. A less known teaching includes the belief that Jesus sanctified John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth prior to his birth. This moment came as “Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and she exclaimed with a loud cry … For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the babe in my womb leaped for joy” (Luke 1:41-44).


The presence of Jesus Christ, in the womb of Mary, the first tabernacle, sanctified John in the womb of his mother. Elizabeth, who was filled with the Holy Spirit, makes it very clear that the son inside her womb had joy!


It seems to be no coincidence that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade comes on a feast when we remember a baby in the womb who rejoiced at the presence of a baby in the womb.


Let us pray: Jesus, Mary and Joseph, teach us what it is to be a family. John the Baptist, teach us self-sacrificial love. May we pray for everyone affected by this decision: the unborn, all mothers and fathers, the frontline workers promoting life, those in need of healing from past decisions, and all those we disagree with. O Sacred Heart of Jesus – Lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of thy mercy. Amen.


Art by: Corby Eisbacher