Kidney Donor Remembrance Service

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Irish Kidney Association


Homily Notes of  Most Rev. Diarmuid Martin Archbishop of Dublin


Corpus Christi Church, Drumcondra, 1st October 2016

“In the midst of daily discussions, at times filled with pessimism and anger, we gather here today for a unique event. It is the story of tragedy and of generosity.  It is the story of tragic events; the story of people, often young people, who have encountered tragic and unexpected death. At the same time, it is the story of generosity which has transformed the lives of others.

This is not a gathering of the famous; it is a gathering of the good.  It is not a gathering of the trendy, but it is a gathering of the generous.  What we witness here is the sort of experience which not only touches all our hearts, but it is a story which gives us hope when we see how much goodness exists in the hearts of so many families and individuals in our country.   The generosity of those who become organ donors changes the lives of others.  The desolation of tragic death becomes an occasion to give new hope and a new beginning to others.

Generosity and solidarity are the back bone of society.  They are the opposite of greed and self-centredness.  Those who are greedy and self-centred like the limelight.  Those who show solidarity are happy just to do the right thing even though they may never know who exactly the beneficiary will be.

Where would be without the hidden solidarity that exists in our communities?  We know where greed leads.  Solidarity does not make the headlines in the same way, but it is solidarity that transforms and brings together even those who never meet.

We have listened to God’s word.  The God of Jesus Christ is a God of mercy who tells us that if we are compassionate and generous that we will receive a special reward.  We are told that we must let our light shine, not to get publicity for ourselves, but to enable what is good to appear and to triumph.  God’s goodness goes way beyond anything that we might deserve or even way beyond what we might be able to imagine.

Being a Christian is about living and reflecting that type of love and generosity in our lives.  Again the experience that we share here today is about how an act of generosity emerging from a tragic occasion can have that effect on someone else; what happens is not a mere transaction by which something is achieved; it is about how an act of generosity can change someone else’s life in an unimaginable way, restoring them and healing them to something they may have given up hope of ever achieving.

This is a unique event.  We have people here of various generations but I would like to speak especially to the younger people here.  Many of you are here having lost a parent, a sibling, or a friend.  Your eyes are still heavy with sadness.  Today you see what was done through the generosity of organ donation.  You see how renewing life for someone else may not yet wipe away your tears, but it enables you to lift your head high with pride.  You remember your dear one in a different way.   You realise how truly loving they were.

I would say to you, young people: work for the future of our country in such a way that this sense of solidarity will become the driving force of the way we all react with one another.  Never weaken in your conviction your belief that good people can really do something to change the world.   We can see here today that it does happen.  Thank God for that; thank God for those who have gone ahead of us, but have left us an example. ENDS