This Holy Week is a time for friends and family, a time of spiritual rebirth and affirmation. For some of us, it is an ecclesiastical celebration of Christianity, of Jesus Christ's triumph over death. For others, it is a commemoration of God's deliverance of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. Of freedom. For all, it is a reminder that hope springs eternal in the miracle we call life.
Once again, the season finds humanity steeped in conflict. A disastrous civil war in the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia-Herzegovina. A tumultuous passage of power in war-torn Afghanistan. Imminent famine in Somalia.
At home, we struggle with the twin burdens of recession and seismic economic shifts that have ripped security from millions of American lives. Children and their families gamble on good health in the absence of even the most basic health care. Too many of our young come into the world losers in the birth lottery, cast into a world shaped by drugs, guns, pain and poverty. Too many of our babies die before their lives hardly begin.