Homily by Auxiliary Bishop Joseph Galea-Curmi
I once read that the strength of any society is measured by the progress of its weakest members. This is the main message I would like to convey today on the Day for Life.
I greet all those who are taking part in this special day, that is being commemorated on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord when we celebrate Christ, the light that shines on the world.
Our meeting here today is not against someone or something. On the contrary, we have met here today because we are for something, not against.
The more we embrace a consistent ethic in favour of life, the more we are able to build a society that respects the human person, whoever he or she may be.
We are for life and because we stand for life we believe that we must protect and cherish life from the very beginning of conception until its natural end. When human life already exists, there must never be a moment when we decide who lives or dies.
One cannot separate civil liberties from the right to life, from a person’s right to be born and eventually make his or her own decisions. The more we embrace a consistent ethic in favour of life, the more we are able to build a society that respects the human person, whoever he or she may be.
For the weak
We are all for those who are weak and vulnerable, and we believe that the protection of the life of those who are vulnerable is the measure by which society can be considered to be humane. What is more vulnerable than the life of a human being who, at the very beginning of his or her existence, asks to be welcomed and not cast aside?
The vulnerable also include those who are going through sickness or other conditions that are the source of great suffering. There are those who have been bedridden for years. These people require that we lighten their burden by showing them care and attention, by showing them concretely that they are loved and that their lives matter.
We need to actively work for the protection of creation, so that future generations can breathe clean air and like us, are able to experience the beauty of nature in our country, and not enjoy it only when watching videos from the past.
Among the vulnerable there are also those at sea who find themselves struggling for life, crying out for a helping hand that will save them from a watery grave. We must work concretely for the protection of life of these people, to ensure that they will not become victims of indifference and of a throwaway culture, as Pope Francis decries frequently.
For future generations
We are for future generations, which is why we are working earnestly for future generations to be born, to live and thrive in a dignified environment where their potential can be nurtured and cultivated.
Because we are for future generations, we need to actively work for the protection of creation, so that future generations can breathe clean air and like us, are able to experience the beauty of nature in our country, and not enjoy it only when watching videos from the past.
We will work for future generations to cherish the value of life and not to be duped into thinking that drugs are a means of entertainment, without considering the consequences that these will have on their lives.
For life as a matter of principle
We are for life on principle. The protection of life should never depend on popular consent or on current trends. Certainly, you would understand the difference between being for life as a matter of principle and speaking up for life simply out of convenience at a given point in time, with the intention of changing your mind according to the prevalent mood. With this in mind, I would like to thank so many people in our society, who on principle are in favour of life and are committed to its protection at all stages.
If our work in favour of life at all stages underlines our identity as Maltese, then we would find no difficulty to continue treasuring this principle even when other countries believe otherwise. Cherishing life is never a cause of embarrassment, even if we are ‘sign of contradiction’.
For support to those who need it
Speaking in favour of life is not enough. We are aware that words require concrete action of solidarity with those who find themselves in difficulty; for example those who are struggling to accept a new life. We must always provide them with the necessary support.
In this context, I would like to show my great appreciation for the initiative by the Life Network Foundation which opened ‘Dar Tgħanniqa ta’ Omm’ that provides shelter to mothers who need help during pregnancy. This home has already saved several infants, while their mothers received all the support they needed.
The Day for Life shows us that the strength of any society is measured by the attention we give to its weakest members and by the progress of those who are most vulnerable. Let us continue to strive in order to have a society where life is treasured with love.
✠ Joseph Galea-Curmi