Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Then Jesus told them this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. –Luke 15:1-7
There is a lost sheep in Great Britain by the name of Alfie Evans.
Born into sin like the rest of us, he was also born into a degree of physical affliction most of us are spared. Evans, almost two years old, has been afflicted since the end of 2016 with a rare degenerative neurological condition.
That’s bad enough. But instead of care and support, Great Britain’s system of nationalized health care, with the backing of its court system, is doubling down on its macabre Charlie Gard policy of euthanizing those innocents it deems unfit to live.
In short, it is playing god — and a cruel, vicious, and capricious god at that. So Evans’ father, 21-year-old Thomas Evans, is doing what any good father would do if faced with such dire circumstances. He fights, David-like, with a sling and a stone.
That led him straight to the Vatican last week for a meeting with none other than Pope Francis. Evans, who is Catholic, all but fell at the knees of the pope, hoping to bring light into the world of murderous darkness he and his family are enduring.
“Please help us save our innocent child and give him the grace of asylum to keep our family safe and to stop all of this,” Evans said. “The hospital [staff] are depriving us [of] sleep and not allowing us to sleep with our own son; we have to sit in a chair with him all night to comfort and protect him.”
The cult of death grows and grows. In response, the Vatican has offered to transfer Alfie into its care at its renowned children’s hospital, the Bambino Gesù. But, of course, the answer from Great Britain has still been no.
So this isn’t really about Alfie’s health care being too expensive. It’s about making a statement. The almighty nanny state is uttering its creed, in no uncertain terms, to the serfs within its borders: You belong to us – including the decision of whether you live or die.
It’s going to take more than an offer of a hospital transfer to defeat that kind of spiritual darkness. The devil won’t offer up the lost sheep willingly. He wants to sacrifice him publicly for all to see, in order to keep the rest of the flock in line.
Meanwhile, a leaked memo revealed that the archdiocese of Liverpool, where the Evanses live, is actually spending time quibbling about whether Evans is Catholic instead of hearing his cry for mercy and justice. Dear Lord, this can’t possibly be the face of the church — any church — can it? So might I suggest something to the pope that goes well beyond simply waiting for the lost sheep to come to him?
Go out and find him.
Travel to Great Britain. Turn the thousands of people calling themselves “Alfie’s Army,” who have rallied outside the hospital that holds Alfie as its prisoner, into tens of thousands. And do not leave until a father’s wishes to remove his son from a place that wants to kill him are heeded.
This was the always fearless testimony of the apostles, laid out in detail in the book of Acts. Prison doors were thrown open. The sick were cured. The dead were raised.
No such liberation is guaranteed to any of us, faithful or otherwise. Perhaps death is unavoidable in this situation no matter what. But our fate is ultimately not one of outcomes but of obedience. We are to preach the gospel in all seasons to the ends of the earth.
The mantle Christ passed to St. Peter says "feed my sheep." There is no better way to feed a watching world, right this moment, than for the pope to travel to "go and do likewise" in Great Britain right now.
This world is starving for salvation, and God has opened a door through the suffering of Alfie Evans to remind this world how His son suffered for us. And that's why we love the likes of Alfie Evans, whom the sages of this age want to give up on — because Christ first loved us.
There is no way the godless state will brazenly execute Alfie if the pope honors the first word of the Great Commission: "Go."