BEFORE THE CROSS | Marching for life with the power of one

Before the Cross - Archbishop Robert J. Carlson's Column

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Consider the treachery of Judas. Consider the sacrifice of Jesus. Consider the power of one.

It only takes one to work great harm. For example: Adam's fall. It only takes one to do great good. For example: Jesus' Cross. Consider the power of one.

Eve was visited by an angel. She hesitated, then said yes to temptation. Mary was visited by an angel. She hesitated, then said yes to God. One woman. One choice. Consider the power of one.

Think about the magi from the Gospel of Matthew, the brevity and immediacy of the Gospel of Mark, the prodigal son in the Gospel of Luke, the raising of Lazarus and the reconciliation of Peter in the Gospel of John. Each Gospel brings something unique to our knowledge of Jesus. Without each one, our knowledge of Jesus' life and teachings would be incomparably poorer. Consider the power of one.

This week we celebrate the conversion of St. Paul. In doing so we not only recall the missionary efforts of Paul, we also recall the gatekeeping role of Ananias who was sent to heal and convert him, and the martyrdom of St. Stephen whose death planted a seed for his conversion. In each case — Paul, Ananias, Stephen — we recall the power of one.

All through salvation history, we witness the power of one. One man, Abraham, called forth by God. One son, Isaac, through whom the promises were to be fulfilled. One queen, Esther, who saved the people of God. Time and again, salvation history bears witness to the power of one.

On Friday, Jan. 27, pilgrims from St. Louis and across the country will join in the March for Life in Washington, D.C. Its theme this year: "The Power of One."

Each child killed. Each child saved. Each person attending the March for Life. Each prayer that goes with them. Consider the power of one. 

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