St. John Paul II wrote clearly in Evangelium Vitae that abortion, along with all other crimes against human life, is a rejection of Christ.
One of St. John Paul II’s most enduring legacies is his strong support of life, from conception to natural death. He spent his entire papacy advocating for the unborn, compiling his beliefs in one of his most powerful encyclical letters, Evangelium Vitae.
A striking statement in this document connects the rejection of the unborn, ultimately, with a rejection of Jesus Christ.
He begins this statement by referring to Revelation 12 and how it can be interpreted in a more broad sense, referring to every human child.
Mary thus helps the Church to realize that life is always at the center of a great struggle between good and evil, between light and darkness. The dragon wishes to devour “the child brought forth” (cf. Rev 12:4), a figure of Christ, whom Mary brought forth “in the fullness of time” (Gal 4:4) and whom the Church must unceasingly offer to people in every age. But in a way that child is also a figure of every person, every child, especially every helpless baby whose life is threatened, because — as the Council reminds us — “by his Incarnation the Son of God has united himself in some fashion with every person.”
This leads St. John Paul II to make the connection to abortion specifically, but also to any crime against human life broadly.
It is precisely in the “flesh” of every person that Christ continues to reveal himself and to enter into fellowship with us, so that rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ. This is the fascinating but also demanding truth which Christ reveals to us and which his Church continues untiringly to proclaim: “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me” (Mt 18:5); “Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).
St. John Paul II wanted to make it clear that every offense against humans, especially the most vulnerable of society, is in truth an offense against Jesus Christ.
It is a difficult teaching, but as St. John Paul II points out, it is rooted in the Gospel. A person may not deliberately believe they are rejecting Jesus, but that is the case whenever we sin.
Every sin we commit is a way we reject God and his plan for us, whether that sin is small or big.
Let us cry out to God and ask forgiveness for any time we have rejected him, and do all that we can to support the most vulnerable of society, from conception to natural death.