In today’s Vigils reading, St Ignatius of Antioch (ad Magn. 1-5) develops a motif typical of early Christian writings. It is the image, rooted in Deuteronomy 30:19, of the two ways between which each human being must choose. ‘All things have an end, and two things, life and death, are side by side set before us, and each man will go to his own place. Just as there are two coinages, one of God and the other of the world, each with its own image, so unbelievers bear the image of this world, and those who have faith with love bear the image of God the Father through Jesus Christ. Unless we are ready through his power to die in the likeness of his passion, his life is not in us.’
Living as we are in a world of endlessly blurred boundaries, this perspective challenges us. It is a salutary challenge. We need the testimony of brave women and men who choose life. It isn’t an easy option; it will, as Ignatius says, bear the mark of Christ’s passion. But it will be a function of truth, and the truth sets us free.