I am responding to the reflection of Robert and Scott - Sensus Fidelium - on Ireland's referendum on same-sex marriage. I write as an commissioned FCM member based in Dublin, Ireland. I cannot express the overwhelming sense of joy and pride I have at this tremendous election result - a worldwide first as a consequence of a national vote of the people directly. Hopefully we will encourage other people to 'be the change' that they seek.
One of the reasons that led to this conclusive decision was because so many people of the gay and lesbian community, along with their families and friends, bravely initiated a national dialogue, told their stories and trustingly requested the majority to accept them as equal citizens. It all speaks eloquently of the transforming power of story and of love and acceptance.
I conclude by sharing what I hold to be a lovely Gospel event connected to the referendum.
Two friends of mine - committed Christians - had been unsure for weeks about how to vote. They were tossed one and another, influenced by the arguments on both sides. In their car outside the voting station 'Alice' looked at 'Jack' and asked - 'what will we do and I wonder what would Jesus do?' With that, they saw two men coming out the door of the ballot station and hugging each other. The scene drew tears from 'Alice and 'Jack'. As the men walked by, 'Alice' ran after them. She told them and she had witnessed them hugging. On learning how important it all meant to the lives of these two men and on further crying with the two strangers,'Alice' runs back to Jack and declares - I am voting f...... 'Yes ' and so are you! A Gospel Kingdom moment!
A real and compassionate spirit has descended on our country and 'it is wonderful to behold'. It is after all Pentecost time!
Beir bua agus beannacht - May you all flourish and be blessed!
- Tony MacCarthaigh