2018 is going to be a year where Ireland very much has to reflect on family and life with two particular foci as we head into the World Meeting of Families in 2018 and the political maelstrom to repeal the 8th Amendment to the Irish Constitution.
It seems fitting somewhat that this reflection is re-posted by request of a number of our listeners on 28th December, which is the feast of the Holy Innocents, the commemoration of the massacre of all male children under the age of two on the orders of Herod the Tyrant and the flight of the Holy Family to Egypt as refugees.
The question we face in 2018 will be are we an economy or a society? How do we value the most vulnerable members of our communities? Do we hold a consistent ethic of life from conception to natural death or do we discard those who are deemed to be non-productive for society? Will we uphold the seamless garment of life? The seamless garment of life is a metaphor for the reality that all of us share one life in God. It is not a tenet but an understanding that all of life is sacred, from womb to tomb, in the unborn and the dying, in the murderer on death row and the mother in a coma, in the soldier in Afghanistan and the family in Iraq, in the undernourished child and the pensioner who can't afford a doctor. "When human life is considered 'cheap' or easily expendable in one area," Cardinal Joseph Bernardin said, "eventually nothing is held as sacred and all lives are in jeopardy."
You can listen to Mary's reflection excerpted from our main Christmas Day programme HERE.