Living real J.O.Y.

By | December 22, 2010

Being behind bars was the result of their choice to kill. For whatever reasons, they did not have an understanding that each person’s life is a gift, created by God himself. The performance finished and they began to exit, thanking us for the hope that was conveyed through the music by Eric Genuis and ensemble.

Two points of thought: These prisoners deserve their sentence. They have chosen to kill a child of God, so why have a concert performance for them? Others may be thinking that prisoners are people too and deserve to be recognized for their dignity. As we come to a fullness of the teachings of respecting life, we know that there is one foundational issue, every human life is a gift; from the tiny baby in the womb until natural death. Each human life is holy and is filled with awesome possibilities!

God has great plans for each of us, and the key to respect for life is acknowledging this powerful principle and in turn, living a life that respects others. We first have to make sure that each life is allowed to be born, and then care for those created in the image of God. When we get this, we understand the work God has laid before us. “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves; let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to edify him.” (Romans 15:1,2)

If we don’t embrace these sacred, yet simple teachings, we cannot transform this culture as God intended, and we can become locked up behind the bars of self-centeredness and worldly distractions. But we are free! We can live our lives filled with J.O.Y. — Jesus, then Others, then Yourself.

Today, we have the ability to break the chains of pain and sorrow in many people’s lives. This is our time to get out there and be the difference. Pray for hope and conversion for those locked up by illness, loneliness and prison. Pray for women about to abort their baby and pray for families making decisions for their loved ones. Pray that hope and joy are the real gifts that we give to each other this season.

Let us live as our Blessed Mother did, who obediently and joyfully embraced the precious gift of love — as he lived in her womb, lived in her home and continues to live in our hearts.

Pallini is the respect life consultant for the Green Bay Diocese. Visit

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